Right before the closing of Cairo International Film Festival, we caught up with Sedky Sakhr for a quick chat about his role in the new thriller series Ansaf Maganeen, now playing on Viu, the video streaming platform.
By Mariam Elhamy
How does it feel to be a part of CIFF?
It feels great! I feel super proud. I always looked up to this festival, my father used to drag me when I was a kid to see all the movies. The film schedule used to be in El Kawakeb magazine, we would go and read about the movies and circle the ones we want to see and it was always a special and exciting time of the year.
Now, to be personally invited to this festival, I feel extremely proud and happy.
What do you think about this edition of CIFF?
I think it was an extremely challenging edition and the fact that they managed to have such powerful programming and curation in the middle of these hard times is amazing because this was a tough year for the cinema industry.
This year probably witnessed the least number of film productions historically. So, to manage to have such a strong curation is very hard and is a great achievement.
I’m very happy that they managed to do so and still have a very strong representation of the Egyptian cinema with many feature movies and short movies. All in all, it’s a powerful edition.
Have you seen any movies yet? Which would you recommend?
Yes, I’ve seen The Father, Gaza Mon Amour, Gagarine, Nomadland, which by the way just won the Venice award, and some of the short films as well. I’d recommend them all since they are all really very powerful, very special and highly acclaimed movies.
I missed a few, it’s hard to manage to see all the movies but you should go see them all really.
Tell us a bit about Ansaf Maganeen? How is it playing a role in an Arabic psychological thriller series?
I play Hazem who is the cousin of Asmaa Galal, and a heart donor. The story is about Anas who has some psychological issues. Anas just had a heart transplant and he starts hearing the donor. I don’t want to say much, I hope you watch and enjoy it!
Best role or project you’ve ever worked on?
This is a tough one. My role in Leh laa was one that I enjoyed very much because I related to the character and it was very close to me. It wasn’t hard portraying it and it was enjoyable living some situations with this character since he’s fun and bubbly, but wise and a bit of a feminist at the same time, I really loved this combination.
What’s your favorite film genre?
If I say romantic comedy would that be cheesy? No but seriously, it’s drama. It’s the genre that attracts me the most. Human relationships are always something very attractive to me.
How was it acting alongside Nelly Karim and Asser Yassin?
That was pure fun, Asser is loads of fun and we go way back, so it’s always fun to work with him; although, time-wise it was very stressful but the shooting wasn’t stressful at all.
What’s a day in the life of Sedky like?
It’s a very boring day, why do you want to know that? Ah well, I’ll tell you anyway. I wake up. I squeeze my celery to get some celery juice then I prepare my morning drink which is turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, lemon and honey. That’s like my coffee I don’t drink coffee in the morning because I try to lead a healthy life.
Then I start to contemplate what I’m going to do with my day, so as I contemplate I pick up the ukulele and I start playing and procrastinating then I find that the day is almost over and all I’ve done is play music but still it’s good practice. I try to do some sports and see my friends and that’s mostly it.
Would you ever consider going fully into music as a career?
Yes, I’m definitely considering music as a career. It’s always been something that I want to do professionally. I practice daily and I have some projects in my mind already. I already did some music for short films and a contemporary dance show, so it’s definitely in my plan, maybe acting has more priority right now but music is strongly on my radar.
What was your experience playing a character in an animation movie like?
That was amazing! It was the most liberating thing an actor can get to do because there are no cameras. It’s only your voice in a closed room in front of a microphone so you get to go completely crazy! It’s so much fun and it’s something I’d love to do more of.
What advice would you give young people who want to pursue acting?
Work on yourself, study, take acting workshops, and work on your skills other than acting, if you can be a gymnast, play music, sing, dance, these are all supportive skills. Also, grit and persistence, you have to keep trying because even if it takes a lot of time and luck if you just keep pursuing it for a long time you’ll eventually get there.
You also need to network and be out there a lot, so just keep going.
What’s your favorite book? Favorite film?
Love in the Exile by Bahaa Taher and In the Mood for Love by director Wong Kar-wai.
Any upcoming projects?
We’ve been extremely busy with Ansaf Maganeen so that’s coming up and I hope you’ve seen Sunday at 5 pm by Sherif Sherif El Bendary, it’s taking part in CIFF. Those were the last two projects I was working on and I’m super proud that they’re here in Cairo International Film Festival.
Photo credits: Eman ElHawary