The management of the Hurghada Youth Cinema Festival, in its first and inaugural edition, has decided to honour the star, Hani Salama. This is in recognition of his diverse and distinguished cinematic journey. Salama will receive the festival shield at the opening ceremony, which will be held on September 21.
The ceremony will be attended by officials from the ministries of culture, tourism, antiquities, youth and sports, the Red Sea governorate, a constellation of stars, and critics.
Salama expressed his happiness and appreciation for being honoured during the first edition of the festival. He stated that this honour means a lot to him, especially since it comes from a distinguished festival for a very special cinema that is only seen in festivals and occupies a leading position in major awards competitions.
Additionally, he mentioned that the honour comes from a festival that is the first of its kind, dedicated to promising young filmmakers in the cinema industry. This represents a strong incentive for him to participate in this festival.
Salama emphasised that cinema always occupies his top priority, and it is his great love which he does not accept any compromises. He added that receiving the honour is an indicator for the actor and proof that he is on the right track, even if he is away from the screen for a period due to the circumstances that the cinema industry is going through.
Salama confirmed that cinema fundamentally relies on youth through its themes and stars. It is a constantly renewed industry that cares not only about the commercial side. He also pointed out that holding an international film festival in the city of Hurghada is a cultural and artistic beacon that illuminates the Egyptian arts sky. Therefore, this honour is a source of great happiness for him.
For his part, writer and screenwriter Mohammed El-Basousy, the president of the festival, said that the nature and specificity of the festival imposed standards in choosing the honorees, including that the star has a portfolio of works that have achieved his fame and success, in addition to other works that he presented in his career. These standards were fully available in Hani Salama, who deserves to be at the forefront of our choice to honour in this edition.
Journalist Kadry Al-Haggar, the festival director, stated, “It is only natural to honour generations that have contributed to the success of Egyptian cinema with their important and successful works. Hani Salama’s generation is one of the most prominent stars that have pushed the movement of Egyptian cinema forward. He has an extensive and distinctive portfolio of cinematic works in collaboration with numerous great directors from different cinematic schools. The diversity of his works ranges from romance, action, and psychological, to historical genres. His career has not been limited to one artistic style so far, as he has excelled in various genres.”
During his career, Salama presented many distinguished cinematic works that earned him numerous awards and accolades both inside and outside of Egypt. He began his career with world-renowned director Youssef Chahine in 1997, with the film “El Massir” which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival. This is where Hani took his first artistic steps and began to discover the world of major festivals.
Following that, Hani presented his second experience with Youssef Chahine in the film ‘The Other’ (Al-Akhar) in 1999. This was a new beginning towards professionalism and establishing himself. He then moved to a world not far from Chahine’s, with his unique experience with director Khaled Youssef in the film ‘Al-Asefa’ (The Storm) in 2001.
After achieving great success at Youssef Chahine’s school and gaining widespread recognition, Hani moved on to a different type of school in the film “Elsellem wel te’ban” (Snakes and Ladders) with director Tarek Alarian. This film marked a major qualitative leap in the cinema industry in terms of filming and directing, and it was a critical and popular success.
In the same year, Hani presented the film “Friends or Business” (‘As’hab Walah Business’) with director Ali Idris, which also received wide critical and popular attention.
Hani’s works varied across different film schools throughout his career, producing a number of distinguished works that continue to resonate with audiences today. His collaborations with director Khaled Youssef yielded several notable films, including “Enta Omry,” “Ouija,” and “Kheyanah Mashruah.” Hani’s final film was “Chief Omar Harb,” which garnered numerous awards.
Hani also excelled in psychological drama with the 2009 film “Al-Saffah,” directed by Saad Hendawy. This work completely changed Hani’s style and surprised his audience with a new approach.
Regarding his latest cinematic work, he collaborated with screenwriter Tamer Habib and director Hady El Bagory to produce the film “The Right One” (Wahed Sahih). The film premiered at the Dubai Film Festival and has since been showcased in numerous other festivals.