Prior to his appointment, Shawky served as the federation's vice-president, the first Egyptian, Arab, and African in this position.
In parallel, he is also the president of the Egyptian Film Critics Association (EFCA) and the vice president of the African Film Critics’ Federation (FAAC).
Shawky is an Egyptian film critic, festival programmer, and screenwriting developer. He writes about film for numerous Egyptian and regional publications, and published six books about Egyptian cinema.
Shawky was appointed as acting artistic director of the Cairo International Film Festival in 2019, and a year later he was appointed its artistic director. However, he resigned from the post soon after amid calls for his removal because of his inflammatory posts on social media
He is also the artistic consultant for the Malmo Arab Film Festival.
Shawky was a programmer for many film festivals including Cairo, Malmo, Mumbai, among others. He acted as a jury in various festivals such as Locarno, Shanghai, Eurasia, Transylvania, Macao, Sofia, Oran, and Taipei.
In 2022, he headed the jury of the FIPRESCI competition at the 75th Cannes International Film Festival.
Launched in the 1920s, the FIPRESCI committee is among the most influential film criticism committees internationally. The committee is responsible for awarding the best film at numerous festivals, including at Cannes since the festival’s launch in 1946.