Actor Mohammed Ramadan in talks with Ahmed Zaki’s family to save biopic of Egyptian screen legend

Critics and fans alike have drawn comparisons between the performance and looks of Ramadan (L) and those of Zaki (R). (Instagram/Wikimedia commons)
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Updated 23 July 2020

Actor Mohammed Ramadan in talks with Ahmed Zaki’s family to save biopic of Egyptian screen legend

CAIRO: An Egyptian TV series portraying the life of legendary actor Ahmed Zaki has been put on hold over a dispute with his family.
Egyptian star Mohammed Ramadan, who was set to play the lead role, announced on Monday that the show had been postponed until negotiations with Zaki’s heirs are resolved.  
Fans had been looking forward to seeing one of the country’s most popular current film and TV stars play an icon of Egyptian and Arab cinema.
Zaki is regarded as the finest male actor to grace Arab film screens. During his career he starred in more than 60 movies including “The Days of Sadat,” "Nasser 56," "Ard Al-Khof" and "Ma'ali Al Wazir." 
He died in Cairo in 2005, aged 55.
The TV series called “El Embrator” (The Emperor) was meant to be ready for Ramadan next year - the main month for TV productions in the Middle East.
Mohammed Ramadan announced the project last month but filming was yet to begin. 
Egyptian media said Zaki’s relatives rejected the biographic series. The reports said Ramadan is involved in talks with them to seek their approval.
“The series on Ahmed Zaki has been postponed until negotiations with his family,” Ramadan said on Facebook.
Critics and fans alike have drawn comparisons between the performance and looks of Ramadan and those of Zaki.




Egyptian actor Ahmad Zaki looks on at Cairo's Hilton Ramsis coffee shop 08 February 2002. Zaki is preparing to play the role of late singer Abdel Halim Hafez in a film written by Mahfouz Abdel Rahman. (AFP)


With the project on hold, Ramadan said he would be working on another series for 2021 named “Moussa,” written by Nasser Abdel Rahman and directed by Mohammed Salama. 
Ramadan has been in the spotlight for several reason in recent weeks.
His latest music hit with rapper Super Sako, “Tik Tok,” was played at the weekend in New York’s Times Square and garnered five million views on the app.

The actor-turned-singer is the first Egyptian artist to receive the Diamond Creator Award from YouTube after reaching 10 million subscribers. 
On a different note, Ramadan was sentenced to 12 months in prison last week for slandering a pilot after he posted a video inside the cockpit of a private plane.
The pilot accused Ramadan of damaging his reputation.


Egyptian short film wins Cannes’ Palme d’Or

Updated 30 October 2020

Egyptian short film wins Cannes’ Palme d’Or

DUBAI: Egyptian director Sameh Alaa’s movie “I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face” has won the coveted Palme d’Or in the Cannes Film Festival’s short-film competition. 

Starring Seif Eldin Hemida and Nourhan Ali Abdelazez, the 15-minute movie tells the story of a man who undertakes a difficult journey after two months of separation in the hope of a reunion. It was the only Arab film selected to compete for the prestigious prize. 

The festival congratulated the director in an online post on Thursday, writing: “Tonight he won the short-film Palme d’Or 2020. Congratulations to Egyptian director Sameh Alaa.”

“I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face” was selected along with 10 other shorts. 

The movie been selected among 10 other shorts. (Supplied)

The film was up against “Blue Fear” by Marie Jacotey and Lola Halifa-Legrand; the Evi Kalogiropoulou-directed “Motorway65”; “Sudden Light” from Sophie Littman; “Son of Sodom” by Theo Montaya; Paul Nouhet’s “Camille Contactless”; and “Benjamin, Benny, Ben” from Paul Shkordoff, among others. 

The 11 shorts were selected from a total of 3,810 films from 137 countries, the festival said on its website.

“I Am Afraid to Forget Your Face” is the first Egyptian film to be nominated and to win the award.