Menna Shalaby has undoubtedly solidified her name as one of the most in-demand, noteworthy, and beloved actresses in the Arab film and TV industry. Menna began her acting career in 2001 in one of the biggest TV productions and most-watched TV dramas at the time, Hadeeth Al Sabah Wal Masaa (Morning and Evening Talk), which got her starring roles in many films and TV series.
Her natural charm and acting prowess, manifested in all of her performances without fail, propelled her acting career upwards in a very short span of time. Menna owes her skyrocketing success and fame partly to her incredibly versatile abilities; she has excelled in romance, drama, thrillers, comedies, and all the genres in between.
Shalaby performed a variety of roles in comedy, drama, action and romance films. Her famous cinematic roles include El Saher (The Magician) (2001), Baheb El Cima (I Love Cinema) (2004), Ahla al Awqat (Best of Times) (2004), Heya Fawda (Chaos) (2007), screened at Venice International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, Al Ma' wal Khodra wal Wajh al Hassan (Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces) (2016), screened at Locarno Festival, Baad El Mawkeaa (After the Battle) (2012), screened at Cannes Film Festival, Microphone (2010), Nawara (2015) as well as Marwan Hamed’s hits, Al Aslyeen (The Originals) (2017), and Diamond Dust (2018), which won three awards at the 1st Casablanca Arab Film Festival in Morocco. The film generated more than 32 million EGP (1.8 million USD).
Keen on supporting emerging filmmakers, Shalaby played the lead role in director Adam Abd ElGhaffar's short film Fork and Knife, which competed in the Short Films Competition at the 2nd El Gouna Film Festival in 2018.
Furthermore, Menna’s filmography includes Khayal Ma’ata (Scarecrow)(2019), which marks her reunion with superstar Ahmed Helmy after 11 years of their first work.
Shalaby's most successful TV roles include Neeran Sadeeqa (Friendly Fire) (2013), Haret El Yahoud (Jewish Quarter) (2015) and Wahet El Ghoroub (2017). this comes in addition to her 3 series, which premiered on Shahid.net platform, the miniseries Every Week Has a Friday, for which she received her first nomination for an International Emmy Award in the category of Best Performance by an Actress for her performance in the series, making her the first Arab Actress Nominee For such a prestigious award, Nemra Etnein serial drama, in which she starred in an episode, under the title: Awel Embareh (The Day Before Yesterday), opposite Ahmed Malek, directed by Mohamed Shaker and written by Mariam Naoum, and the second season of Leh La'a (Why Not?). Written by Mariam Naoum and directed by Mariam Abou Ouf, the series received a huge audience acclaim and won Menna an honor at the Egyptian Catholic Center Cinema Festival.
Aside from her acting career, Menna was part of several charity campaigns for people with disabilities that raise awareness about the struggles faced by these people in the Egyptian society.Recently, she partnered with OPPO in the Reno6 Series campaign under the slogan “Every Emotion, In Portrait”. This campaign aims to encourage people to cherish their special moments and memories. A short film titled “Photograph: The Space Between Us”, featuring Menna Shalaby along with Nabil Issaw will be part of the promotional campaign.
Shalaby also has previously won numerous awards at local and international festivals, including the Faten Hamama Excellence Award from the 41st edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), in which she was also hosted in an in-conversation moderated by American film critic Jay Weissberg on the side-lines of the CIFF where she reflected on her acting career and milestones along the way. She also received the Best Actress Award at the Egyptian National Film Festival for her roles in El Saher (2001) and An El Eshq Wel Hawaa (2006), the Arabian Cinema Awards (ACA) and the Arab Star Festival, for her role in Diamond Dust (2018), Dubai, Tetouan, Oran, and Cairo Film Society festivals for her role in Nawara (2015), and the Egyptian Catholic Center Cinema Festival, for her role in Banat West El Balad (2005), for which she also won a Special Award at the Damascus International Film Festival.
Menna was also named 'Best Actress' by the audience in numerous polls conducted by Arab and Egyptian newspapers and radio stations. Besides, she was honored by the Tetouan International Mediterranean Film Festival in Morocco, and won An Honorary Award at Aswan International Women Film Festival (AIWFF) in 2019, in recognition of her astounding cinematic career in Egypt and the Arab world.
She also won several awards for her TV roles, including the Critic’s Award for Best Actress at the Arab Satellite Channels Festival for her role in Wahet El Ghoroub (2017).
Shalaby’s participation in film festivals is not only limited to winning awards, but she was also selected as a jury member at some of the world’s most prestigious film festivals, including the Cairo International Film Festival, Carthage Film Festival (Official Competition), the Malmö Arab Film Festival in Sweden (Feature-Length and Short Film Competition), and El Gouna Film Festival (Feature Narrative Competition).
Menna's most recent projects include Al’Ins W AlNems (2021), in which she co-stars with comedian Mohamed Heneidy. As well as, two box office hits; El Gareema (The Crime), starring Ahmed Ezz and directed by Sherif Arafa, and Men Agl Ziko, starring Kareem Mahmoud Abdel Aziz and directed by Peter Mimi.
Her latest 15 episode series Betlou’ Al-Rouh’, directed by Kamla Abou Zekry, screened in Ramadan 2022 on MBC and ShahidVIP, garnered her the Best Actress Award at the 2022 Cairo Drama Festival and Best Actress Award in The Arab World at the 2022 Murex D’or ceremony
Shalaby’s latest work is Shahid’s TAGHYEER GAW series, which aired during the 2023 Ramdan season to terrific audience reception.
Earlier in 2023, the megastar was also honored at the second edition of the Cairo Drama Festival alongside directors Kamla Abo Zekri and Peter Mimi, as well as acclaimed actors Maged El Kidwany, Mona Zaki and Karim Abdelaziz.