CAIRO - 16 November 2021: Famed star Ahmed Malek is the first Egyptian nominee for Australian Academy of Cinema & Television Arts Award ( AACTA) in the male leading actor category.
Malek is nominated for this prestigious award on his role in “The Furnace” that had its MENA premiere in 2020 at El Gouna Film Festival.
”The Furnace” movie is now available on Netflix.
Malek attended the world premiere of his first international film, “The Furnace” by Australian director Roderick MacKay, which screened on Friday, September 4,2020 at the 77th Venice International Film Festival.
After a sold-out screening, The Furnace had a two-minute standing ovation and was acclaimed by many critics.
Malek received positive reviews on his performance in the film.
“…appealing Egyptian actor Malek uncovering sensitive shadings as the circumspect but honorable Hanif.” David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, said.
While Eric Kohn, Indie Wire, said, “For Hanif, whom Malek plays with a remarkable blend of trembling fear and uncertainty, that yields a constant struggle beneath the surface; it’s fascinating to watch him play off the reckless plotting of foul-mouthed vulgarian Mal, who quickly devolves into a ham-fisted frontier cartoon.”
He also attended the film’s second screening in a Gucci outfit.
Set in Western Australia’s 1890s gold rush, “The Furnace” is an unlikely hero’s tale, navigating greed and the search for identity in a new land.
Co-starring Malek, The Furnace stars celebrated Australian actor David Wenham, Baykali Ganambarr, winner of the Best New Talent award at the Venice International Film Festivalfor his role in The Nightingale, Trevor Jamieson, Erik Thomson, Mahesh Jadu and Osamah Sami. The film is directed by Roderick MacKay.
It received production support from several institutes, including Screen Australia, in association with Screenwest and Lotterywest and the Western Australian Regional Film Fund.
Malek has been recently selected to play one of the leading roles in the new TV series “ Tahqeeq” (Investigation) for which he started shooting his scenes a few days ago.
The TV series is set to premiere soon on WATCH iT. “ Tahqeeq” will have 13 episodes and is produced by AROMA (Tamer Mortada). Written by Mohamed el-Dabah, “ Tahqeeq” stars Malekalong with a group of young stars, including Huda El Mufti, Khaled Anwar, Tara Emad, Fatma Nasser, and May Elghety.
Set in Western Australia’s 1890s gold rush, The Furnace is an unlikely hero’s tale, navigating greed and the search for identity in a new land.
Co-starring Malek, The Furnace stars celebrated Australian actor David Wenham, Baykali Ganambarr, winner of the Best New Talent award at the Venice International Film Festivalfor his role in The Nightingale, Trevor Jamieson, Erik Thomson, Mahesh Jadu and Osamah Sami.
The film is directed by Roderick MacKay. It received production support from several institutes, including Screen Australia, in association with Screenwest and Lotterywest and the Western Australian Regional Film Fund.
The film is based on the best-selling novel, 1919, and produced by Synergy Films. It’s one of the most expensive Egyptian films and one of the most anticipated films of 2021 in the Arab world.
Malek’s latest films include “Ras El Sana” by director Mohamed Sakr and screenwriter Mohamed Hefzy, which is currently available on Shahid.net, “ Eyar Nary’’ (Gunshot) by Karim El Shenawy and “Al- Deif” (The Guest), directed by Hadi el-Bagoury and written by Ibrahim Eissa.
Through these films, Malek was able to reintroduce himself to audiences, while keeping his same old position as a professional young actor, but with more profound and mysterious aspects.
Malek was featured on acclaimed Italian clothing company Maison Valentino’s official website and Instagram account.
Malek was the first Middle Eastern actor to appear on the website and Instagram account of this international fashion house.
Also, Malek had a photo shoot for Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 2018 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 were France's Stéphane Bak, American Josh Wiggins and English Eleanor Worthington-Cox.
The four stars acted in films presented in the previous edition of TIFF.
TIFFs is not the only interesting event for Malek as the 24-year-old star’s “Sheikh Jackson”, was selected as Egypt’s candidate for consideration at the 2018 Oscars.
Furthermore, 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.
Additionally, Dubai International Film Festival also chose Malek in 2017 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 played 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 “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.
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.