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Hend Sabri Becomes First Arab Woman to Receive Starlight Cinema Award at Venice Film ‎Festival ‎

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Hend Sabri Becomes First Arab Woman to Receive Starlight Cinema Award at Venice Film ‎Festival ‎
written by
Kareem Sheta

(Hend Sabri at the 13th edition of Dubai Film Festival – 2016 via


Every year, we always hear of new aspiring actors and actresses, taking their turns in the spotlight. Despite the crop of current talent, there’s something indescribable about the artists of previous generations that still makes them stand out today. One example is the iconic Tunisian-Egyptian actress, Hend Sabri, who has added so much emotion and passion to the Arab screen for 20 some odd years.

Therefore, it came as no surprise to us when we found out that she had received a prestigious award at the 76th edition of the Venice Film Festival, by the Italian Journalists Foundation, that was once given to the one and only, Al Pacino. What is this award you may ask? It is the Starlight Cinema Award that was founded in 2014 to promote and honour the talents of national and international cinema, namely actors, directors, producers, critics, and journalists from the film sector, according to Vogue Arabia.

Coincidentally, the actress took part in this year’s festival as a jury member for the Luigi De Laurentiis Award, as well as a participant for her iconic role in the Tunisian movie, Noura Tahlam (Noura Dreams), directed by Hinde Boujemaa, according to Egypt Today. The cherry on top was the inspiring fact that Hend Sabri is the first Arab women to be both chosen as a jury member at the VIFF and to win the Starlight Cinema Award.

This is obviously not Sabri’s first recognition for her amazing work. Some of her other awards include the Faten Hamama Award for Excellence, at the Cairo International Film Festival in 2017, and Best Actress at the 2017 Alexandria International Film Festival. 

Here’s a clip of the ceremony from an Instagram fan page.