Egyptian actor Ahmed Malek attended the world premiere of his first international film, The Furnace by Australian director Roderick MacKay, which screened last Friday, September 4, at the 77th Venice International Film Festival. After a sold-out screening, The Furnace had a two-minute standing ovation and was acclaimed by many critics.
Malek received positive reviews on his performance in the film. “…appealing Egyptian actor Malek uncovering sensitive shadings as the circumspect but honorable Hanif.” David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, said. While Eric Kohn, Indie Wire, said, “For Hanif, whom Malek plays with a remarkable blend of trembling fear and uncertainty, that yields a constant struggle beneath the surface; it’s fascinating to watch him play off the reckless plotting of foul-mouthed vulgarian Mal, who quickly devolves into a ham-fisted frontier cartoon.”
Malek had a pre-screening photo shoot in which he stirred up a buzz with his eye-catching Valentino white suit. He also attended the film’s second screening in a Gucci outfit. Set in Western Australia’s 1890s gold rush, The Furnace is an unlikely hero’s tale, navigating greed and the search for identity in a new land.
Co-starring Malek, The Furnace stars celebrated Australian actor David Wenham, Baykali Ganambarr, winner of the Best New Talent award at the Venice International Film Festival for his role in The Nightingale, Trevor Jamieson, Erik Thomson, Mahesh Jadu and Osamah Sami. The film is directed by Roderick MacKay. It received production support from several institutes, including Screen Australia, in association with Screenwest and Lotterywest and the Western Australian Regional Film Fund.
Malek, who was announced among Screen International's picks for the 5 Arab Stars of Tomorrow in 2017, has been recently selected to play one of the leading roles in the new TV series Investigation (Tahqeeq), which is set to premiere soon on WATCH iT. Besides, he recently joined the cast of director Marwan Hamed’s and writer Ahmed Mourad’s new film Kira & El Gen, featuring Egyptian superstars Karim Abdel Aziz and Ahmed Ezz. The film is based on the best-selling novel, 1919, and produced by Synergy Films. It’s one of the most expensive Egyptian films and one of the most anticipated films of 2021 in the Arab world.
Malek’s latest films include Ras El Sana by director Mohamed Sakr and screenwriter Mohamed Hefzy, which is currently available on Shahid.net, The Guest (2019) and Gunshot (2018). Through these films, Malek was able to reintroduce himself to audiences, while keeping his same old position as a professional young actor, but with more profound and mysterious aspects.