Egyptian actor Khaled El-Sawy to be honoured at National Theatre Festival

Ahram Online , Monday 17 Jul 2023

Egyptian actor Khaled El-Sawy will join the list of honourees at the 16th National Theatre Festival, taking place from 27 July to 12 August.

Khaled El-Sawy
Egyptian star actor Khaled El-Sawy during an honoring ceremony at Al-Ahram in 2021 (File Photo: Ahram


“This honouring really excites me because I’ve served in theatre for long years, dedicating all my energy as an actor, director, writer and composer,” stated Khaled El-Sawy on the festival’s website on Saturday.

“I am so proud to be honoured for all the theatre plays I introduced although the budgets weren’t sufficient at that time,” El-Sawy added, expressing interest to return to theatre as a writer and as an actor.

Born in 1963 in Alexandria, El-Sawy studied law before graduating from the Academy of Arts and launching his professional career in theatre. 

El-Sawy established El-Haraka theatre troupe in 1989 with a number of currently famous actors, such as Tarek Abdel-Aziz and late Khaled Saleh, in addition to writer Sayed Fouad. 
The troupe presented successful shows, such as Hafla Lel-Maganein, El-Milad and El-Le’b Fil Demagh in which they tackled political and social issues.

El-Sawy then worked as a director in Egyptian TV, introducing a number of works, including a film titled Masraheya Men Talat Fosoul, before he cemented his stardom as an actor in cinema in Gamal Abdel-Nasser film in 1999. 

Quickly becoming among the leading film actors of his generation, El-Sawy’s remarkable career in cinema includes a variety of distinct roles in significant films such as The Yacoubian Building, Keda Reda, Cabaret, El-Farah, and The Blue Elephant, in addition to numerous TV roles.

El-Sawy has numerous published writings, including his plays with El-Haraka troupe and other plays like El-Debla and El-Milad, in addition to poetry books like Nabi Bela Tabbaa, Kalam Morsal, and Agras. He also published one short stories book titled Yaumeat Kholoud.

Festival programme

Taking place in several halls in Cairo, the festival will be managed by actor Mohamed Riyad, appointed to the job by the Ministry of Culture earlier this year.

The 16th edition, which is named in honour of legendary actor Adel Imam, will also host honouring ceremonies for actors Ahmed Fouad Selim, Mohamed Abu Daoud, Mohamed Mahmoud, Roshdy El-Shamy, Riyad El-Khouly, Samy Abdel-Halim, and Salah Abdullah, as well as set designer Noha Barada and writer Mohamed El-Sayed Eid, among others.

The organisers will hold a press conference on Saturday to unveil the details of the anticipated edition.

The selection committee, under the helm of poet and critic Mohamed Bahgat, has already shortlisted 37 plays for the various contests of the festival which received 150 submissions from public and private sectors’ troupes.

Various industry workshops are scheduled to take place alongside the National Theatre Festival, including directing classes by Shady Sorour, scenography sessions by Amr Abdullah, and theatre management lessons by Safwat Hegazy. Director Khaled Galal will offer a session on career-building.

An acting workshop, led by Ahmed Mukhtar, has already begun, training 60 actors from a pool of 600 applicants.

The festival offers a range of awards for outstanding work in the theatre industry, such as its writing award named for Abu El-Ela El-Salamony, and a new contest for film criticism.

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