Revered for her role as Ola in the infamous Arabic TV show, Ayza Atgawiz, in which she plays the role of a single woman longing to get married, Hend Sabry will be joining the prestigious jury of the Luigi De Laurentiis Award for a Debut Film, at the 76th Venice Film Festival. Taking place in the Italian city of Rome, the film festival is planned to take place from 28th August to 7th September 2019.
Sharing her delight at the opportunity to be on the jury on Twitter, Sabry wrote, “I am honored to be chosen for this role and I hope to represent the Arab region in one of the oldest and most prestigious festivals in the world.”
Hend Sabry is one of the most loved and respected actresses in the Arab world, and was previously a jury member at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2015, and acting honorary president of the 1st International Arab Festival in Algeria. This is not her first international rodeo, as she became the first ever Arab actress to be on the Rotterdam Film Festival’s jury panel in 2016. With so much under her belt already in way of judging movies, we are not surprised that she would also be selected to participate in the jury at the Venice Film Festival.
Haifa Al Mansour
Just last week the schedule for the 76th Venice International Film Festival was announced, and it includes Saudi director Haifaa Al Mansour’s The Perfect Candidate, the only film from the Arab region to be nominated in the Venezia 76 category, alongside 20 other international submissions.
Haifaa Al Mansour’s film is one that needs to be shown, as The Perfect Candidate sets out to shatter gender stereotypes the world may have about Arab women. The narrative tells the story of a young female Saudi doctor who makes the decision to run in a local election. The film will have its first world premiere in Rome. Another emerging female Saudi director is also making waves as Shahad Ameen’s fantasy film, Scales, will be shown in the Venice Critics’ Week competition.
A major deal for the Arab submissions at the Venice Film Festival, as they will be up against other major international directors and films including, Roman Polanski’s An Officer and a Spy, Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, featuring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson, and Steven Soderbergh’s The Laundromat, a comedy starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas.
Up there with the other revered film festivals, Berlin and Cannes, the Venice Film Festival first took place in 1932 and is the world’s oldest running festival. Some of the films that first debuted in Rome have gone on to win Academy Awards, including Gravity in 2013 and La La Land in 2016.