The long awaited CIFF is a film festival, that film enthusiasts and junkies alike wait to attend for their panels, unseen films and a chance to rub shoulders with artists that deserve praise.
But like with anything that glitters, comes a batch of unsavory/inevitable feuds and critics. Case in point, Mona Abdel Wahab and her performance as an anchor at this year’s CIFF edition.
Mona was chosen to present the opening ceremony of the 43rd Cairo Film Festival. As soon as she graced the stage, BOOM – all hell broke loose afterwards. Apparently, the Egyptian TV presenter delivered what some are calling an unprofessional speech in which the presenter seemed to stutter unknowingly through, as well as mispronounced the name of the Serbian director and actor Amir Kusturica.
Celebs and media personalities know for a fact, that living in the limelight comes with a price. Their every move is monitored and their work/performances would always have their fair share of brutal remarks and be up for judgement. And, Mona Abdel Wahab was no exception. She was not above criticism and definitely wasn’t spared any.
Social media activists, art critics and even celebrities all criticized Mona’s performance at the opening ceremony. Hostile remarks on her performance were thrown in her face, stirring public dialogue. Art critic Magda Khairallah raised a sarcastic question on Facebook “Who’s idea was it to bring Mona Abdel Wahab to present the most important part of the opening ceremony? He shall receive a lot of curses.“
صاحب فكرة الإستعانه بمنى عبد الوهاب لتقديم الجزء الأهم من حفل الإفتتاح؟ سيناله الكثير من اللعنات.
Posted by Magda Adel Khiralla on Friday, November 26, 2021
Actress Bushra joined the battlefield as well. She went to express her opinion on the matter, claiming that stages are only reserved for a chosen few – for those who do have what it takes to be presenting such an important event like the CIFF. Things like Charisma and sincerity are needed, which according to Bushra, Mona Abdel Wahab lacks.
“Theatre is harsh, and never carries someone who doesn’t have what it takes to stand on a stage. In contrary to other kinds of art, theater is scandalous because it is a very private and sensitive medium. If the voice is insincere, it would never reach the hearts of the crowds.” -Bushra wrote, without mentioning any names. Although, it was pretty obvious Bushra’s words were targeting Mona.
After Bushra’s public post, the matter became more of a Bushra-Mona quarrel that has spiraled out of control and veered off into a personal vendetta. Mona, in turn, sharpened her pitchforks as well, and opened fire on the actress.
Mona was more direct, and addressed Bushra, stating “You are, of course, a capable artist on stage, with a wonderful artistic impact, whether in singing or acting. I think that I, at least, am capable of presenting the kind of programs I do. I was at least able to excel in one thing, and this is much better than being in different crafts and not excel in any of them.” Mona stated her post sarcastically.
“Despite your presence for many years in the singing and acting scene, you haven’t letft any distinguished imprints in any of the fields. And this of course, thanks to your “sincerity and charisma“. Mona continued.
After days of being cyber stoned on social media, Mona Abdel Wahab decided to clarify her situation. She has been away from the industry for 6 years, and has never stood on a stage in front of that many important public figures, nor has been on a live event, and that of course was intimidating.
She was the one who asked the director of the festival to present the opening ceremony, and justified the clumsy mistakes occurring, as happening because of the lack of time available for her to rehearse. Given all the circumstances, she assured that she didn’t deserve all the critics and doesn’t regard her performance being generally that bad.
Sharing a harsh stance you have towards a colleague, is more often than not problematic. Let’s remember that the sole purpose of the film festival is to show unyielding support to the talents, and lift those in the industry up. We hope this feud ends soon, because this is not what the great annual film festival is about.