Mena Massoud, the Egyptian-Canadian star of Disney’s Aladdin (2019), is set to participate in the third edition of the El Gouna Film Festival (GFF) which will kick off September 19 and until September 27.
Egypt’s Minister of Immigration Nabila Makram commented on Massoud’s highly awaited attendance, saying that Massoud’s participation came thanks to communication with expatriates abroad, especially those from second and third generations.
She applauded Massoud’s accomplishments as an international artist, who reflects an admirable image for Egypt globally, praised Massoud’s devotion to the Arabic language and wished him the best in his acting career.
Massoud had previously filmed a behind-the-scenes video for his Egyptian fans, showing a band playing authentic Arabic Egyptian music by the legendary Abdel Halim Hafez, with Massoud singing in Arabic as he danced with the crew.
He also filmed another video right before the movie’s release saying, “Egypt, this one’s for you!”
“I am excited for you to see the film Aladdin that is produced by Disney. I am proud to be part of this film and I hope you love it as much as I do and you enjoy it as I much as I did filming it,” he said in the video.
Cheering “Tahya Masr” (Long Live Egypt), Massoud showed his and respect towards Egypt and the Arab community which he greeted during the holy month of Ramadan, saying “Ramadan Kareem” during a press conference in Jordan.
The co-founder of the GFF, Amr Mansi also expressed his excitement for Massoud’s attendance, saying “The festival`s management will spare no effort to build bridges of communication with the stars of the international cinema in general, and those of Egyptian assets in particular, attracting them to participate in the GFF, which we strive to present in the best picture.”
Massoud previously featured in films such as “What Happens Next” (2011), “Ordinary Days” (2017), “Final Exam” (2017), “Let’s Rap” (2015) and more.
He was born in Cairo to Egyptian Coptic-Christian parents, then immigrated to Canada before moving to Los Angeles in 2017.
Massoud alongside Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek were nominated for the Teen Choice Awards. The voting was launched on June 25 and awards will be announced on August 11, according to the Variety news website.
Massoud was nominated for his famed role in Aladdin, competing in the category “Choice Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movie Actor” along with other prominent actors including Will Smith, also featured in Aladdin, James McAvoy from “Dark Phoenix” (2019), Jason Momoa from “Aquaman” (2018), Lin-Manuel Miranda from “Mary Poppins Returns” (2018) and Zachary Levi from “Shazam!” (2019), Variety reported.
Directed by Guy Ritchie, the film is a re-adaptation of Disney’s acclaimed 1992 animated film “Aladdin”, which in turn is based on the fairy tale. The remake features inventive special effects and magical, attractive colors inspiring audiences new and old alike across the world.