File Photo: Ahmed El-Sakka. Photo courtesy of Ahmed Elsakka Facebook page.
The festival chose El-Sakka “in recognition of his extraordinary cinematic journey and outstanding contribution to the industry over the past two decades,” as they stated on Sunday.
The same award was previously given to Egyptian star actors Adel Emam, Mohamed Henedy and Khaled El-Sawy; foreign actors Forest Whitaker, Sylvester Stallone, Gérard Depardieu and Saïd Taghmaoui; Egyptian director Daoud Abdelsayed, Egyptian art director Onsi Abou Seif, Tunisian filmmaker Dora Bouchoucha, and Palestinian filmmaker Mai Masri.
The son of Egypt’s puppet theatre pioneer Salah El-Sakka; Ahmed El-Sakka is a graduate from the Higher Institute of Theatre, and started his career with minor roles before his breakthrough in the TV series ‘Who Doesn’t Love Fatma?’ and ‘Rabie’s Other Half,’ before starring in many series. His latest was ‘Nasl El-Aghrab’ in the Ramadan season.
In cinema, he initially made his fame by backing Henedy in the 1990s rule-breaking hit ‘Saidi in the AUC’ that opened door for a new generation in Egyptian filmmakers, before quickly becoming a favourite hero for action and romance.
Famous for performing dangerous scene by himself, Ahmed El-Sakka’s action filmography include Amr Arafa’s Africano, Tarek Al Arian’s Tito, Marwan Hamed’s Ibrahim El Abyad, Sandra Nashaat’s El Maslaha, as well as Sherif Arafa’s Mafia and The Island film series.
His romantic roles started with Saeed Hamed’s 'Shorts, T-Shirt and a Cap' and Kamla Abu Zikri’s 'About Love and Passion,' or comedies like Amr Arafa’s 'The Council's Son' and Ali Idris’ 'Father.'
In previous editions, the festival attracted dozens of regional and international filmmakers, with the fourth edition being held under safety measures mostly at the newly established outdoor Gouna Conference and Culture Centre.