Many stars competed for the best actress award at the Cairo International Film Festival, and although she did not receive that award, she declared her happiness by participating in the official competition of the festival with a film that supports the relationship between humans and animals. The young star, Nahed El Sebaei, is known as the ambassador of the “Pet Street” campaign, which supports the protection of animals on the street and the human relationship with them.
Al-Sibai indicated in her interview with Al-Arabiya.net that the movie “19 B” dealt with the issue of isolation and living with animals touched her personally. She also referred to many details in which she revealed the scenes of the film, which won 3 awards at the festival.
Nahed El Sebaei
* How did you react after the movie “19 B” won 3 awards at the Cairo Film Festival?
** I was very happy that the film won 3 awards, which are the Best Arab Film Award, the International Federation of Critics Award (FIPSRC), and the Henry Barakat Award for Best Artistic Contribution. Thank God very much, I was attracted to this work because of the scenario. In addition to cooperating with a great director of the size of Ahmed Abdullah and the heroes of the work, including the artist Sayed Ragab, Ahmed Khaled Saleh and others, with whom the scenes of filming were fun and comfortable. The film, very simply, everyone who watched it felt a special case, as it talks about loneliness and homeless animals.
Nahed El Sebaei from the movie “19 B”
* Tell us about your character that you presented through the events of the film?
** She presented the character of the landlord’s daughter, “Yara”, who did not like her father’s isolation, and at the same time she did not love her life, and she wanted to change, but her father refused that, and refused to leave his isolation and stay away from his animals. She is trying to survive like the rest of the characters, and seeks to break out of her old lifestyle and discover a new life. She received a good education and found a decent job, and she wants to take her father with her to the social position she has become, to reward him for his hard work throughout his life in raising her.
My character in the film was neither negative nor positive, but very worldly. She tried to get her father out of what he is in, with her love for the house in which she grew up, animals and farming, but she was unable to do so, and at the same time she was unable to live with her father. What I liked most about the movie is that there are hidden issues, because I don’t like things to be clear continuously.
* And what about your first collaboration with director Ahmed Abdullah, after many attempts to bring you together?
** Indeed, there were many works that director Ahmed Abdullah offered me, but there was no share of working together on those projects. We had a mutual desire to work together, as he is a talented director and has a special technique at work, so when the film was offered to me, I agreed immediately, as it was a very sweet experience. The story of the film is difficult and complex, and filming takes place in only one location, especially since the story depends on homeless animals, which is difficult to control during filming, but it was important for it to appear like what you will see when it is shown in theaters early next year.
Nahed El Sebaei
What motivated you to approve the film?
** The script of the film, which I liked very much from the first reading of it, and I found that it talks about things that are very important to me and touch me on a personal level, such as isolation, and how a person decides to be isolated from people and lives with animals only, and rejects the attempts of everyone around him to get him out of The life he chose. The work also contributes to educating the public about how to deal with animals and not harm them. In addition, it puts the viewer in a good mood and makes him want to watch it more than once.
* How did you go through this feeling.. Do you mean the desire to distance yourself from the limelight, for example?
** Not exactly this, but sometimes the pressures surrounding you make you flee and desire isolation, and this happens with all of us. Perhaps the chances of it happening are greater with those who work in art or are surrounded by lights, but this situation does not possess me personally for long times.
Nahed El Sebaei
* The daughter’s constant reproach to her father seemed to be the focus of the constant discussion between them. Don’t you think that this dialogue shortened the relationship between them in a specific matter?
** She is a character who tries to survive in her life like the rest of the characters, and seeks to get out of her old life and discover a new life. She has learned well and does a suitable job, and she wants to take her father with her in the position or situation she has become, and this is a natural thing that she wants to do this with the man who worked hard all his life in order for his daughter to reach what she is now.
What were the difficulties you faced while filming?
** Filming was indeed difficult due to the participation of stray animals in the film, as they are not trained, in addition to the filming location containing a large number of animals in front of the film’s heroes and their number was very few, and therefore I liked the film and I hoped that it would get one award, and therefore I was very happy that it got on 3 awards.
* And how were the scenes of the quarrel and beating scene between you and Ahmed Khaled Saleh?
**We prepared this scene carefully, specifically in the morning meeting on the day of filming, and at the time of filming, the scene was repeated more than once to show the strike realistically.
What about your new TV drama?
** I started filming my role in the series “Al-Ajhar”, which will be shown during the Ramadan season 2023, with the participation of Amr Saad, Dora and Sayed Ragab, which will be filmed entirely in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, and produced by Sadiq Al-Sabah. In it, I embody the role of Amr Saad’s sister.
It also contracted to star in the series “The Coptic House”, which deals with the character of a judicial investigator who tracks criminal crimes in a small village in Upper Egypt, then is surprised by the occurrence of illogical killings and suicides. The work consists of 10 episodes, and its events are derived from the narrator of the same name by the writer Ashraf Al-Ashmawi, screenplay and dialogue by Abdel Rahim Kamal, and directed by Muhammad Al-Sibai.
What about cinema?
** I finished filming my scenes in the movie “Two for Rent” with Bayoumi Fouad and Mohamed Tharwat in Hurghada, and the filming took nearly 5 days. The film was written by Mohamed Al-Qawashti and directed by Shadi Ali. During which he appeared as a guest of honor in the events, as the story of the film depends on the appearance of a number of guests of honor. Each guest is the hero of a story that spoke with Bayoumi Fouad and Muhammad Tharwat. The guests of honor are considered the key word in the events of the film, which takes place in a comical suspense framework.