Hend Sabry among 6 Arab women filmmakers honoured by RSFF in Venice

Ahram Online , Saturday 10 Sep 2022

Tunisian-Egyptian actress Hend Sabry was among six Arab women filmmakers who were honoured last week by The Red Sea Film Festival (RSFF) at a special gala that was organised on the sidelines of the Venice Film Festival.

Hend Sabry


The gala, which was co-organised by the RSFF and Vanity Fair, was held at the Palazzo Rocca in Venice.

The RSFF honours "six remarkable women working at the heart of the Arab film industry," read a press release.

The other women filmakers who were honoured during the gala were: Saudi director Haifaa al-Mansour - known for Wadjda, Perfect Candidate, Mary Shelley;  award winning Saudi actress and filmmaker Ahd Kamel (Collateral, Honour, Wadjda), Saudi actress Sumaya Rida (Rupture, Rashash); Oscar nominated Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania (The Man Who Sold His Skin, Beauty and the Dogs); and British-Lebanese actress Razane Jammal (The Sandman, Kira & El Gina, Paranormal, Carlos).

The second edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival will run in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia between 1-10 December.

The 79th Venice International Film Festival opened on 31 August and continues until 10 September. 

Sabry, 42, is an internationally acclaimed film and TV actor who started her career in 1994 at the age of 14 with a stellar performance in the Tunisian production Samt Al-Qosoor (Silence of the Palaces) by director Moufida Tlatli.

Her first appearance in Egyptian cinema, however, came in the 2002 production Muzakirat Murahiqua (A Teenager’s Diary), a role that cemented her stardom among Egyptian audiences.

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

She also starred in Oumaret Yacoubian (The Yacoubian Building) in 2006 opposite Egyptian star Adel Emam and an extensive cast of other heavywights.

Her portrayal of an HIV positive woman in the 2011 production Asmaa also earned her several awards.

Sabry’s more recent roles include films such as 2016 short film The Parrot (Al Babagha).

They also include the feature films Beautiful Life (Haya Gameela, 2017) and The Treasure (Al-Kenz, 2017), Noura’s Dream (Hilm Noura, 2019) and The Blue Elephant 2 (Al-Feel Al-Azraq 2, 2019).

Multiple awards, civic work

Sabry has received many awards and recognitions for outstanding work throughout her career..

In 2017, she received the Faten Hamama Excellence Award during the 39th Cairo International Film Festival.

In 2019,  won the Starlight Cinema Award of the Venice International Film Festival, becoming the first Arab woman to ever receive this recognition.

Sabry is also active in social and humanitarian work.

She has been Good Will Ambassador for the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to raise awareness about hunger since 2010.

In 2021, Sabry was awarded France’s Order of Arts and Letters in the grade of Officier (Officer) as a promotion to the Chevalier award she received in 2014.

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