The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the prestigious organization behind the Oscars, has chosen iconic actor Yousra, acclaimed producer and screenwriter Mohamed Hefzy and distinguished director Amr Salama to join the Academy.
The three Egyptian celebrities were invited among 842 new members coming from 59 countries, according to a statement released by the academy on Monday, July 2.
“Honored to be invited as a member to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences… now I not only have to watch the Oscars, I actually have to watch the films and vote,” Egyptian producer Hefzy said on Facebook announcing his selection by the academy.
Hefzy joins the academy’s member list of producers alongside Oscar nominees Debra Hayward, Vincent Landay, John Lesher and more, according to the academy’s official website.
The award winning producer and screenwriter has co-produced around 30 films in the Arab region and the whole world, including the US and the UK, according to IMDb. Egyptian film “Eshtebak” (Clash, 2018) from director Mohamed Diab is one of his latest productions, selected as the opening film of the Un Certain Regard section of the 70th Cannes Film Festival.
He also co-produced “Yomeddine” (2018), which participated in Cannes Film Festival’s last edition, according to IMDb.
Hefzy was the first Arab producer named amongst the “Screen International’s Future Leaders” in 2013. Additionally, he was on the top of variety‘s list titled “Ten Names You Need to Know in the Arab film Industry, while the Arab Cinema Center released its eighth issue featuring Hefzy among “The 100 Most Important Names in the Arab Film Industry”, according to IMDb.
The producer has roamed a wide range of renowned international film festivals including Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival among other festivals held in Venice, Berlin and more.
Furthermore, he won the Best European Film Europa Cinemas Label award at the Berlin International Film Festival for the film “My Brother the Devil” (2012), directed by Sally al-Hosaini.
Hefzy kicked off his screenwriting career with several highly regarded Egyptian movies including “al-Selem w al-Teaban” (The Ladder and The Snake, 2001), “Fatah Einek” (Open Your Eyes, 2005) and more.
“Officially, I’m now a member in the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences (Oscars),” Amr Salama announced on Facebook.
Salama was included in the academy’s member list of the directors alongside renowned directors Jonathan M. Chu, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, Nisha Ganatra and Liza Johnson, among others.
The director has received over 20 global awards, including the UNESCO award at the Venice Film Festival for his documentary “Tahrir 2011: The Good, The Bad & The Politician” (2011) which he co-directed, according to IMDb.
He’s also known for “Asmaa” (2011) starring legendary Tunisian actress Hend Sabry, the film “Zay al-Naharda” (2008) and more.
More recently, he directed “Sheikh Jackson” (2017) which won the Cairo International Film Festival’s award, and was nominated at the Toronto Film Festival, Gouna Film Festival among others.
Salama also directs the Arabic edition of the comedic TV show Saturday Night Live (SNL), according to IMDb.
Superstar Yousra now shares the member list with actors such as Stephen Dillane, Winston Duke and Jennifer Ehle among others.
Yousra is a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador featured in Arabian Business’s “World’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women” as well as their “50 Most Influential Arabs” list, according to her profile in the AUC.
Among more than 60 global and local awards, the Egyptian icon was granted the Cinema award at the Arab Women of the Year ceremony in London.
She has also participated in numerous dazzling film festivals including the Cannes Film Festival and Venice Film Festival.
Starring in more than 80 films, Yousra is best known for several movies including “Al-Ens wa al-Jen” (The Human and the Djinn, 1985) , “Karakon fe al-Sharea” (A Police Station in the Street, 1986), “Al-Mansy” (The Forgotten, 1996), “Al-Irhab Wal Kabab” (Terrorism and Kebab, 1992), “Toyour al-Zalam” (Birds of Darkness, 1995) and more.
She further solidified her career through collaborations with late prominent Egyptian director Youssef Chahine, such as in “Hadduta Masreya” (Egyptian Story, 1982), “Iskendereya Kaman we Kaman” (Alexandria Again and Forever, 1989) and “Al-Mohager” (The Emigrant, 1994).