Ahmed Malek - Egypt Today.
CAIRO – 10 September 2018: The rising Egyptian star Ahmed Malek had a photo shoot for Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) after being nominated in the International Rising Star Category among three other talents.
TIFF is an annual film festival held in September, in Toronto, Canada. The other chosen stars in Malek’s category are France's Stéphane Bak, American Josh Wiggins and English Eleanor Worthington-Cox. The four stars acted in films presented in this year’s edition of TIFF.
TIFFs is not the only interesting event for Malek as the 23-year-old star’s latest movie, “Sheikh Jackson”, was selected as Egypt’s candidate for consideration at the 2018 Oscars.
The Egyptian movie "Leil Kharegy" was also chosen to be shown in the currently ongoing TIFF nights in the period between September 6 and 16.
Tunisia’s "Fe Enaya" and Lebanon’s “Kafr Nahoum” are the Arab movies participating in TIFF’s nights.
Malek will perform the leading role in the international Candian movie “Montreal Girls” by Canadian director Patricia Chica.
Malek will play the role of an Egyptian student named Basel, who is granted a medical school scholarship to Montreal. Basel, whose ultimate dream is to become a poet, meets three girls there who shift his perceptions. This is considered Malek’s first international role.
"I went on a year-long quest searching for the right actor to play Basel. Ahmed Malek is perfect for this role," Chica told Screen Daily Magazine.
Montreal Girls is Chica's first feature after more than 20 well-received shorts. Chica previously won 25 awards and five nominations from international festivals.
Recently, Malek finished shooting his scenes for two new films – “Gunshot” by Karim El Shenawy and “Al Deif” (The Guest), directed by Hadi El Bagoury and written by Ibrahim Eissa, which was announced at the 14th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF).
The Berlin International Film Festival management previously chose Malek to join the Berlinale Talents platform.
Berlinale Talents is a summit and networking platform held by the festival each year to gather talented filmmakers, screenwriters, film editors, producers, critics, actors and other young people working or interested in the cinema industry.
Dubai International Film Festival also chose Malek in its last edition to join its “Arab Stars of Tomorrow’’ program. The second edition of Arab Stars of Tomorrow showcased five rising filmmakers from the Middle East and North Africa: Marwan Abdullah Saleh, Ahmed Malek, Maria Zreik, Ayman al-Shatri and Manon Nammour.
Two actors participated in the 2017 program: Emirati Marwan Abdullah Saleh and Egyptian Ahmed Malek; both are on the cusp of international recognition. Palestinian actress Maria Zreik starred in festival favorites “Villa Touma” and “Ave Maria”. She was in two film screenings at DIFF in 2017 for “Wajib” and “Detained”.
The two directors selected for the program in 2017 were Iraqi Ayman al-Shatri and Lebanese Manon Nammour. Both are making short films exploring contemporary life in their complex countries. Shatri directed two award-winning movies, “Warm Night” and “Five O’Clock”, while Nammour’s “On the Ropes” premiered at Locarno Festival in 2016.
Malek was born in September 1995 in Cairo. His first audition came at the age of eight when his uncle took him to perform in a commercial.
In 2005, Malek had his first role in the TV series "Ayamna el Helwa" (Our Good Days). A few years later, executive director Osama Farid asked Malek to perform the role of young Hassan al-Banaa, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, in the TV series "The Brotherhood”, which is considered the then-15-year-old‘s first breakthrough role.
After the January 25 Revolution, Malek disappeared for a short time, as he decided to focus on political and revolutionary activities. When director Gamal Abdel Hameed offered him the role of a young Egyptian revolutionary activist in the series “The Backstreets” – starring famous actors Gamal Soliman, Leila Elwi, Samy el-Adl and Gihan Fadel – he could not resist.
Malek's talents were finally recognized in 2012 after achieving great success in his role in the TV series “Ma’aa Sabk el Esrar” (With Premeditation).
In 2013, he played the role of a troubled teen in the series “Hekayet Haya” (Haya’s Tale), for which he won the DG Award for Best Young Actor.
Seeing Malek’s impressive performance, director Sherif Arafa asked him to audition for a pivotal role in the second part of his movie “El Gezira”.
Malek’s latest movie, “Sheikh Jackson”, was chosen as the opening movie for the first edition of El Gouna Film Festival, which took place from September 22 to 29, 2017. The film also screened at the 61st London Film Festival, which kicked off on October 4, 2107. Egypt selected Amr Salama’s “Sheikh Jackson” as its candidate for consideration at the 2018 Oscars.
“Sheikh Jackson” stars Ahmed al-Fishawy and revolves around the death of the “King of Pop”, Michael Jackson. The plot-line focuses on an aspiring imam who loves Jackson’s music and imitates the pop star’s performances, but his strong relationship with Salafism reflects the contradictions in his life.
Malek was chosen by Shnit International Short Film Festival (SISFF) to be a jury member in November 2017, alongside famous scriptwriter Tamer Habib and Egyptian director Mariam Abu Ouf.
Recently, Malek participated in the Helm Foundation’s campaign that was launched on social media to make Cairo University accessible to people with disabilities; it also starred Egyptian actress Menna Shalaby.
The campaign's video features Shalaby as a visually impaired woman and Malek in a wheelchair. Both have challenges getting around Cairo due to the lack of accessibility for people with disabilities.