x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Lifetime achievement award for Egyptian

Veteran Egyptian actor Gamil Rateb honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the Dubai International Film Festival.

Gate #5 tells the story of Lebanese lorry drivers.
Gate #5 tells the story of Lebanese lorry drivers.

It may have been a different Egyptian actor who took much of the glory from Lawrence of Arabia, but at this year's Dubai International Film Festival, it was time for Majid to finally take a bow.

The veteran actor Gamil Rateb – who was already an established name on screen and stage before his role in David Lean's epic – was among those collecting a lifetime achievement award from the festival.

But the pioneering filmmaker was dismissive to suggestions that Egypt no longer boasted stars able to achieve the same fame as himself or Omar Sharif.

"We actually have Amr Waked and Khaled Abu Naga," said the 85-year-old.

Rateb outlined the criteria for Egyptian actors to succeed overseas. "First off, there's your personal charisma, your acting abilities and your luck," he said. "And of course, you have to know languages, mainly English, although Italian and French would be advantageous."

Rateb dedicated his award to those across the region involved in the Arab Spring. "The importance of the Egyptian revolution cannot be ignored, but we cannot ignore the other revolutions in the entire region that seek to establish a democratic society and alter the history of the world."