The Team

Mohamed Hefzy is an award winning Egyptian screenwriter and producer who has written, produced, and co-produced nearly 30 feature films in Egypt, the US, the UK, and the Arab world. In 2013, Screen International named him as the only Arab among 30 future leaders in film production. In 2016, he was chosen by Variety on top of a list of “Ten names you need to know in the Arab Film Industry”. His films have participated widely in major film festivals, including Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Sundance, and Toronto, and have won more than 80 international awards. In 2016, one of his productions (Clash) was chosen as the opening film of the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes International Film Festival. In 2018, he would return to Cannes as a coproducer of Yomeddine, this time in the official competition.

Aside from his work as a writer and producer, Hefzy is a film activist and his company, Film Clinic, has been a hub for independent filmmakers in Egypt and the Arab World, offering workshops and training programs conducted in cooperation with international organisations and institutes. Hefzy has served as a jury member previously at the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival in 2011 and Cairo International Film Festival 2010, as well as several other local and Arab festivals. He is a former director of the Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts, and was on the advisory board of Cairo International Film Festival from 2015 to 2017.  He has also been a board member of the Egyptian Chamber of Cinema since 2013, and continues to represent and lobby for independent filmmakers in Egypt and throughout the Arab World.

In March 2018, Hefzy was assigned by the minister of culture the responsibility of presiding over Cairo International Film Festival in it’s 40 edition, making him the youngest president in the festival’s history.

Creative and visionary Media Professional. Worked as a Communication Strategist at Tarek Nour communications, Account planner at DDB and Executive Creative Director at Bates worldwide where he worked on several local and multinational clients filming across the globe and gaining many awards for his work. He then made a career move into Television Production since 2009. In total he gained  more than 20 years Experience in the Communication and Entertainment Industry. In addition to a vast exposure in the field Digital media and Content Creation. He is considered a pioneer in Digital Cinema in Egypt, the first to introduce it in the Egyptian Market.  He currently heads babel-films as the executive producer and content supervisor. He is Also a member of the Egyptian Film Syndicate since 2017.

Sarah Bissada is a history & culture major with a passion for the Film industry which led her to join the Film Festivals World. She first joined the Cairo International Film Festival in 2004. Speaking 4 foreign languages she was able to mark herself in multinational corporations, which gained her a lot of experience and exposure managing big accounts and events around the world like; Switzerland, France and Italy, which highly reflected on her work in all five most important film festivals around Egypt. With more than 10 years of experience in film festivals and working along side the most influential people in the industry she was able to digest what makes a Film Festival work.

Aliaa Zaky is qualified corporate lawyer who embarked into the world of film festivals, media and entertainment in 2011 when she joined the Dubai International Film Festival team as their Head of Legal and later in 2013 as Enjaaz Project Manager, the festival financial funding arm for film in post-production and production. During her 7 years at the Dubai International Film Festival, Aliaa has acquired vast experience in film festivals management and event organization, in addition to expertise related to the film industry market including film distribution and financing.

Aliaa moved back to Cairo from Dubai in October, 2017 and has been working with the leading media and entertainment company MAD Solutions in addition to joining the Cairo International Film Festival in May 2018 and launching the festival’s industry platform “Cairo Industry Days”

Ossama Abdel Fattah is an Egyptian journalist and film critic. He is the Managing Editor of Al-Ahram Al-Massai daily newspaper. He graduated from Cairo University’s Faculty of Arts, French Department in 1990. He finished his advanced studies in Journalism from the American universities of Boston and Jackson in 1994. He writes regularly in Cinema since 1994. He is a member of the Selection Committees in Cairo and Ismailia Film Festivals. He was the artistic director of Sharm El-Sheikh Film Festival and the media consultant of Ismailia Film Festivals in 2018. He published many books and co founded Al-Fan Al-Sabei Magazine specialized in Cinema. Abdel Fattah has served as a FIPRESCI jury member at several film festivals including the Montreal Film Festival, Torino Film Festival and Carthage Film Festival. He also served as a Critics Jury member in Tetouan, Sharm El-Sheikh and Ismailia Film Festivals.

An arts and culture marketing professional, Meriame Deghedi has a penchant for disseminating the diversity of the cinematic art works and films d’auteur to the general public through different means; production, distribution, and education in the visual image actions. She studied Cinema in Lumière-Lyon 2 University. Her work at Shellac, a distribution and production company, encouraged her to pursue a master’s degree in Dissemination of Arts and Knowledge Through Cinema. Through her career, she had the chance to be part of the robust environment of film festivals and film events (FIDLab, Cinemed, ImageSingulières, Cairo Industry Days..etc).
Following her motivation to promote non-commercial films and make them accessible to the general public, she earned a second master’s degree in Arts & Culture Marketing, and returned to Cairo, Egypt, to pursue a Film Distribution career in her homeland. In 2016, she joined MAD Solutions where she oversees and implements the distribution and marketing strategies of all of MAD’s titles across all theatrical and non-theatrical platforms, with a focus on international sales and acquisitions. Recently, Meriame was appointed Manager of the 6th Cairo Film Connection at Cairo Industry Days, to be held on the sidelines of the 41st Cairo International Film Festival.

Ahmed Farouk, an Egyptian journalist and Content producer, working in Shorouknews, from launching in 2009 till the present, has written for various newspapers, magazines and websites, including; Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Laha magazine and Al-Ain website.
In addition to working in print press, he has worked on the research and writing teams of television programs, including “Masaa DMC” presented by Osama Kamal, “Men El Akher” presented by Tamer Amin,”Ezz Al-Shabab” presented by a group of youth announcers in Rotana channel,”Mosarha hora” presented by Mona Abdelwahab, “Lahzet shak” presented by Mohamed Henedi,”Tahya El setat” presented by Raghida shalhoub,”Misr Ard AL Anbiaa” presented by Amr Khalil.
In August 2019, he joined the Cairo international film festival team, as the director of the press center for it’s 41 edition.

Andrew Mohsen film critic from Egypt, writes in many printings and websites including: Al-Maqal newspaper and FilFan website.
Member of the selection committee in Cairo International Film Festival for 3 editions, and worked as the coordinator of the Q & A sessions for the festival.
The Artistic Director for the 20th edition of Ismailia International Film Festival for docsshorts.
Member of the Egyptian Film Critics Association, and was member of the critics jury in ElGouna Film Festival first edition

it’s been over 30 years since Brigitta Portier has been active in the film industry.
It all started back in 1986 when she was in charge of the TV call at the Cannes Film Festival.
Her main role there was handling all the requests of International Publicist’s requiring interview spaces during the Festival. This lead to International Publicist Richard Lormand asking her to become his assistant.
After two years working with Richard, Brigitta decided to create her own company ‘Alibi Communications’ being the International Publicist for over 300 films at all the major film festivals around the world; Rotterdam, Berlin, Cannes, Locarno, Venice, Toronto, San Sebastian, Namur, Ghent, Rome, Tallinn ………
Her gift for languages (fluent: Dutch, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish and now learning Arabic) along with her passion for cinema has played a significant part in her success. Her openness and knowledge has enabled her to created good, friendly, honest relationships with Directors*, Actors, Producers, Sales Agents, Local and International Journalists.
She is always open to new challenges and loves promoting African and Arabic films.

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