Alexandria's 12th Theatre Without Fund Festival named after late Egyptian actor Samir Ghanem

Ati Metwaly , Thursday 15 Sep 2022

The management of the 12th edition of Theatre Without Fund Festival (TWFF) revealed that the event will be named after the renowned late Egyptian actor Samir Ghanem.

Theatre Without Fund Festival


Ghanem (1937-2021), one of Egypt’s favourite comedians, performed memorably in dozens of theatre works, television series and films over over the span of a half-century long career.

Among his best known roles are the titular comic character of Fatota, a famous TV classic from the 1980s. He was also a member of Tholathy Adwaa El-Masrah, the 1960s standup comedy trio, along with George Sidhom and El Deif Ahmed.

Ghanem received numerous awards during his career. In 2017, he received the Faten Hamama Honourary and Excellence Award during the Cairo International Film Festival, as testament to the vital role he played in the film scene and his immense contribution to Egyptian cinema.

The TWFF will take place 23-29 September across numerous stages of Alexandria including Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the Lycée El-Horreya theatre, Jesuite Cultural Centre of Alexandria, Al-Horreya Creativity Center and Anfoushi Culture Palace Theatre.

The management also revealed the jury of the TWFF’s upcoming edition. The names include artists from Egypt, the Arab region and international scene: film director Ahmed Khaled (Egypt), composer Karim Arafa (Egypt), scenographer Wael Abdallah (Egypt), actor and director Idriss Rokh (Morocco), actor and director Ihab Zaheda (Palestine), critic Nayef Al-Baqami (Saudi Arabia) and choreographer Nina Traber (Switzerland).

Over the past editions, the festival hosted numerous troupes from all around the world, focusing on low-budget and student productions. In July this year, the management revealed that 20 performances from 14 countries have been chosen to participate in the upcoming edition. The detailed programming is yet to be revealed.

The festival was founded in 2008 by theatre director Gamal Yakout. For many years, the festival was presided over by Yakout, with Ibrahim El-Forn serving as its artistic director. With Yakout being appointed president of the Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre (2021 and 2022), El-Forn took charge of the Alexandria festival’s presidency with artistic directors being Ahmed Samir and artist Islam Wassouf.

The TWFF is organised by the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with several bodies linked to the ministry including the General Authority of Cultural Palaces, headed by Ahmed Awad; the Artistic House of Theatre, headed by Ismail Mokhtar and affiliated to the Cultural Production Affairs Sector, headed by Khaled Galal; and the Alexandria Library (Bibliotheca Alexandrina), headed by Mostafa El-Feki.

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