Award-winning director and producer Ali El Arabi made a surprise acting apperance in Yousry Nasrallah’s series “Menwara be Ahlaha,” where he played the role of boxing champion Mohamed Osama.
If you thought the role was convincing, it’s because El Arabi is actually a national kickboxing championship.
It’s true; before becoming a filmmaker, El Arabi grew up practicing kickboxing and won Egypt’s national kickboxing championship. But unlike his character in the series, El Arabi was less violent. Probably.
About Ali El Arabi:
Ali El Arabi is an Egyptian multi-talented producer, director, and the founder of Ambient Light, a production company.
He makes films that highlight humanitarian issues. Ali kickstarted his career as a director and producer of documentaries at the ZDF channel. In 2013, he began freelancing. He started making short documentaries and used his marketing skills to sell them to several prominent platforms, including National Geographic.
Later, he was about to make a life-changing decision and change his career. However, destiny has its own plans. He received an invitation from the Arab League to make documentaries on refugees and send them to entities responsible for making decisions on refugee matters. Thus, he traveled to several refugee camps, the birthplace of his first documentary feature film, Captains of Za’atari.
It follows the story of Mahmoud and Fawzi, over six years, who dream of becoming professional footballers. Al Arabi spent 8 years working on the film commercially released in November in the USA and in the Arab world Theaters.
Furthermore, Captains of Za’atari was nominated for 15 awards and took part in 82 international film festivals, including the Sundance film festival, where it had its world premiere. As a result, it was chosen as the second-best film in the festival’s lineup.
The film also had its Arab world premiere at the fifth edition of the Gouna Film Festival. In addition, it nabbed El Gouna Golden Star for Best Documentary Film and screened at the Official Competition of Carthage Film Festival.
Currently, Ali is working on several projects, including the feature film The Legend of Zeineb and Noah, directed by Yousry Nasrallah and co-produced by El Arabi.