DUBAI: The Middle East Film and Comic Con festival started in Dubai this weekend despite the coronavirus outbreak with activities and a stellar lineup of celebrities.
The event brings together the latest releases, previews, exclusives, merchandise from the biggest brands and producers in comics, anime, games, movies and TV.
And the curtain has closed on day 2 at #MEFCC2020! From our cosplay competition, epic comics, games, and collectibles, insights into working at Marvel, our celeb panel with @josephdjones, @brandonjrouth, John Rhys-Davies plus meet-ups with @menamassoud and @e.l.o.d.i.e.y.u.n.g - we don't know how it can get any better! Can't wait for Day 3!
Canadian-Egyptian actor Mena Massoud, French actress Elodie Yung, Welsh talent John Rhys-Davies and US stars Joseph David-Jones and Brandon Routh took part in a panel on March 6. They discussed how they started their careers and gave advice to young talent willing to follow the same path.
Routh said he first decided to put his passion out there at college. Yung is best known for her role as Elektra Natchios in the second season of the Netflix series “Daredevil.” She told the audience that she had started her career with a lie. Someone asked if she was an actor and she replied she was. “And I auditioned pretending I was an actress and I booked the job,” Yung added.
Massoud said he booked his first professional gig at the age of 17 in Toronto. He worked in the Canadian city for a few years and then moved to LA.
Last December Massoud revealed he had not had a single audition since the release of Disney’s blockbuster “Aladdin.” But the 28-year-old actor said at the panel event that things had improved since he first entered showbusiness. “When I started 10 years ago, my first professional union job was ‘Al-Qaeda 2’ and I had two lines.”
“If you take a look at the African-American community for example, they’ve been fighting for their place in Hollywood for decades and decades, and I think only now that they are really starting to take off, and so every community has to do that” Massoud added. “I am trying to be a voice for the North African Arab community. We’ve got to continue to fight for our place in the industry.”
Jones, who is African-American, replied to Massoud saying: “It also comes down to people who are telling the stories as well. All the people who have a voice in Hollywood are just writing the stories they know, and they don’t know other cultures. So, we really need diverse writers, diverse directors and diverse storytellers all through the industry,” he said to audience applause.
Routh, who has played Superman, said he had been influenced by the US actor Christopher Reeve who made the role famous on the big screen “He (Reeve) was and is my Superman. I just kind of inherently brought that energy because the spirit of Superman to me exists so strongly within him and his performance.”
The audience also received some words of wisdom from the experts guiding them on how to start their own careers.
“First of all prepare. If you can, walk on a stage because there is nothing like walking on a stage with a new take on a part,” Davies said, adding that respecting the audience was crucial for anyone in the film industry.
“We who live to please, must please to live,” he added, quoting the English writer Samuel Johnson.