Menna Shalaby has launched an initiative that aims to support talented female writers, encouraging them to submit scripts for short and feature film and TV series. The initiative was launched as part of the panel entitled "Women’s Empowerment Through Film" that was held on the sidelines of the El Gouna Film Festival.
Menna has recently shared a video from the panel through her official social media accounts, commenting “I was honored to carry this great responsibility of launching an initiative that aims to champion talented female writers and welcomes short and feature film/TV scripts by women from Egypt and across the Arab world. I will do my best bringing these projects to the light by taking part in them, supporting the production or seeking any other suitable way. Actually, I'm also privileged that this initiative offers me the opportunity to discover creative works and be part of them”
Through the panel, female filmmakers got the chance to discuss the role of women in the film industry, taking the perspective of the female actors, activists, directors and writers, and tackling how they can cooperate together to support the role of women in the Middle East.
Menna Shalaby made her statement during the panel, saying “Working with women is the most enjoyable for me. I was lucky working with female directors, like Hala Khalil and Kamla Abu Zekri along with writer Wesam Soliman. However, the big problem we face here is that women are not given the opportunity to take decisions. I was also lucky introducing powerful roles through Ahla Al Awkat film, along with Hanan Tork and Hend Sabry, and Nawara film, however, the truth is that our community share this perspective that female roles are viewed as weak than powerful.”
The initiative comes as part of Menna’s role in supporting women in general, where she previously addressed her followers of women and girls on social media to be more self-confident and love themselves as they are.
Menna Shalaby won several awards throughout her career at regional and international film festivals, where she received a number of awards for her various roles in Nawara, An El Eshq Wel Hawaa, Banat West El Balad and Heya Fawda (Chaos) along with receiving the Faten Hamama Excellence Award for her rich cinematic career at the Cairo International Film Festival. Shalaby was also named 'Best Actress' by the audience in numerous polls conducted by Arab and Egyptian newspapers and radio stations. 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), Carthage Film Festival (Official Competition), and the Malmö Arab Film Festival in Sweden (Feature-Length and Short Film Competition).
Known for playing controversial characters, Menna Shalaby is one of the most in-demand actresses in the Arab world. She starred in many critically-acclaimed box-office hits, winning international awards throughout her career.