Her first cinematic work participated in one of the important competitions at the Venice Festival, and also participated in the official competition of the Cairo International Film Festival, and even won the Special Jury Prize. She has participated in many television works, the most important of which are “Munawara Bilhaha”, “Men Qal”, “Asia” and “Against the Break” since her childhood, but the movie “My Girlfriend” was a different experience for the young actress Ilham Safi Al-Din, which is what She confirmed this in her interview with Al-Arabiya.net, as she indicated her family’s support for her and how happy she was to be with her in all her artistic steps.
* How do you see the movie “My friend”?
** The first Egyptian short film to enter the official competition at the Venice Festival, and I could not attend because I was busy filming a new artwork, and I was pleased with the reaction of my family and the festival management. It is also the first film in which I participated in the course of my short artistic career, and therefore my feeling for it is indescribable, especially after the film won the Special Jury Prize from the Cairo Film Festival. This film is the reason for the decision to continue my artistic career. I am very proud to participate in the Cairo Film Festival, and I am happy with the award, because we made a great effort.
* Was director Kawthar Younes really the one who chose you for the movie?
** It was all by chance, I met the director Kawthar Younes in one of the places, and she asked me if I wanted to act with her, so I agreed immediately, and she revealed to me when I met for the first time in one of the special shows, that she liked me when she saw me and saw the way I cut my hair that inspired her In the form of the character, and indeed, I was offered the role of the lead, and I agreed immediately without thinking.
Who is the poster for the movie “My friend”
* Tell us about the scenes of the film and preparations for it?
** The scenes were delicious, strange, and very dangerous. The rehearsals for preparing the movie scenes only lasted for nearly 6 continuous months during the period of the spread of the Corona virus, which made the scenes of filming very dangerous. Before preparing the character, I prepared myself so that I would be convinced and believe in the idea of the work, so that it would appear on the camera as if it were real and not my first acting scene, so that the viewer would feel the sincerity and smoothness of the film.
And all the work team believed that this movie was good, but the fear was that the masses would put this movie in the context of youth and sex only, and it would be discarded, or that I would be placed and restricted to those roles only, but the surprise was that the movie “My Girlfriend” was able to seize awards and reap love And acceptance and even great respect from the audience, whether Egyptian, Arab or international.
* Many commented on the kiss scene in the movie?
** It is a scene similar to any other scene that I present, as it aims primarily to communicate a situation, and I knew that there would be a clash and many things that would happen and be said, but I am very convinced of what I presented, and I very much accept that everyone gives his opinion. But it did not affect what was said about the scene of the kiss, because I know what the film deals with, and for me it presents a case as I said. The film expresses real crises facing young people from the repression and imposition of parental control over them, and reveals the catacombs of their social and psychological suffering. The film also contains the absence of a sense of trust, safety, love and respect between the family or between the two lovers, and many things the audience could have caught, but they clung to the things that are based on the trend.
How did your family react to the movie and the scenes in it?
** I focused on the reactions emanating from the circle around me, such as my family and friends, who always stand beside me, which gave me great confidence in myself. Their support gives me more strength.
With her aunt, the artist, Elham Shaheen
* How do you see the term “clean cinema”?
** What does “clean cinema” mean? In every society there is a specific culture, and every people was raised on ideas and prohibitions. This is normal when a person is convinced of something and grows up over it and cannot change it. But I am not afraid. Art cannot be restricted. Art is a feeling, and we as humans control our thinking, but we do not have control over our feelings. I cannot be told that I am required to present a certain feeling and situation, but there are prohibitions. Society must be open to art and its role. For me, I present everything. If I see that there is a scene or something in the dramatic context, in writing, and in the message of the work, I will present it, but if it is inconsistent with the context, I will not present it.
* And what about your relationship with your aunt, the star Elham Shaheen?
** She is my biggest support in life, she and my mother, because I consider her my second mother, and from the time I told her that I would participate in an artistic work and act like it, she was happy and proud of me, and she gave me great support, and this support was important to me, because it increased my strength and made me trust my decisions And she told me, “You have to choose right, and if you see that this is a right decision, I will help you and have your back as well.”
What do you think of her controversial statements?
** We talk a lot and sometimes argue about topics you discuss. I do this out of fear for them because not everyone can accept many things. Everyone has a point of view as long as it does not harm anyone else. I love that she clings to her freedom, strength, and point of view, but at the same time, not everything is said. Not everyone understands things properly, but she has reached a stage in her life where what she says is heard everywhere, and that is a great responsibility and she deserves it. But there are things I wish to say to her that it is not necessary to talk about, even if I feel that after 10 years I will be a copy of her.