Tunisian-Egyptian actress Hend Sabry to chair jury for short films by young Saudi filmmakers

Ahram Online , Friday 9 Oct 2020

The competition for short films by Saudi filmmakers is an initiative launched by the Red Sea International Film Festival

Hend Sabry
Hend Sabry during her 2019 visit in Tunisia (Photo: courtesy of MAD Solutions)

Award winning actress Hend Sabry will head the jury of the new short film competition, which is designed by the Red Sea International Film Festival to challenge and support aspiring Saudis and Saudi-resident filmmakers to produce new work.

According to the information released by the Red Sea International Film Festival, the competition is a two-day challenge where the young and aspiring filmmakers are to create full short films.

"The challenge will take place in October, with three days of mentorship followed by an intensive 48-hours where the selected teams will write, shoot, and edit their short film from scratch, working around a set theme and incorporating surprise elements," the press release reads.

The competition welcomes applications from teams of Saudi-based creatives aged 18 to 25. The challenge will culminate in November with the film screenings.

Tunisian-Egyptian and well-known actress, Hend Sabry  will be the president of the jury, among other jury members which include film director Lisa Sallustio from Belgium; French film director, writer and teacher Brice Cauvin; award-winning Saudi Arabian writer/director Faizah Saleh Ambah, and Saudi Arabian film director/producer Mohammed Al Hamoud.

According to the organisers, "the jury will award two teams 48hr Film Challenge trophies designed by the artist Rabi Alakhras. The winning team leaders will benefit from an educational and professional tailor-made residency program with French renowned cinema operators during 2021."

“The competition is about creating new content, invigorating the burgeoning Saudi film community, and equipping the next generation with the knowledge and experience to create their own work," said Sabry. "Despite the challenges of this year, it is vitally important to continue to inspire and push the next generation of filmmakers,” she added.

Sabry’s career began in 1994 at the age of 14 with her debut in the Tunisian production 'Silence of the Palaces (Samt Al-Qosoor)' by director Moufida Tlatli. Her first appearance in Egyptian cinema however, was in the 2002 production 'A Teenager's Diary (Muzakirat Murahiqua)', a role that paved her way to stardom.

Her later roles include starring in films such as 'A Citizen, a Detective, and a Thief (Mowaten we Mokhber we Haramy)' in 2002, 'Downtown Girls (Banat West El-Balad)' in 2005, and Ibrahim El-Abyad in 2009.

She also appeared in 'The Yacoubian Building (Oumaret Yacoubia)' in 2006, alongside an extensive cast of Egypt's biggest stars.

Her portrayal of a HIV positive woman in the 2011 production 'Asmaa' got her several awards.

As for Sabry's more recent roles they include films such as 'The Parrot' a 2016 short film, 'Life is Beautiful', 'The Treasure ', 'The Passage'; which all came out in 2017, and in 2019 'Noura's Dream' as well as 'The Blue Elephant 2'.

Apart from her many achievements in the world of cinema, Sabry is also active when it comes to social and humanitarian work. She has been working closely with the UN World Food Programme on raising awareness about hunger within the region since 2010.

The inaugural Red Sea International Film Festival was initially scheduled to take place between 12 and 21 March 2020, but due to the pandemic the organisers have postponed the event without providing a new date.

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