Young Egyptian actor Muna Shalabi denied rumors of a dispute between her and young Tunisian actress Hind Sabri over the leading role for the film “Istighmamieh,” for which Shalabi was nominated.
Writer and director, Imad Albahat, nominated Shalabi for the role instead of Sabri, who was originally nominated when the film was only a purposed project.
Shalabi stressed that she is on great terms with Sabri and they are currently filming “Banat Wasat Al Balad” (Downtown Girls). She and Sabri will also be acting together in other films, Shalabi added.
Shalabi also denied a dispute over the order of her name in the film’s credits, stating that the matter is determined by the contracts she signs with different producers. She explained that rumors published by the media about supposed problems between young actors, like Yasmeen Abdul Aziz and Lebanese actor Nour, over nominations for different films, are all false.
The actor emphasized that she has a high level of respect for her peers and purposely avoids creating tension with them, adding that nominations for roles in different films is in the hands of directors and producers, and not her own.
In the streets of downtown Cairo, director Mohammad Khan filmed the wedding ceremony of Shalabi and actor Khaled Abu Al Najja; one of the final scenes for “Banat Wast Al Balad” (Downtown Girls). The remaining cast of the film, including Sabri, Egyptian actor Izzat Abu Ouf, Ahmad Budair, Mohammad Najati, and Majda Al Khateeb, all were present for the scene.
The crew worked diligently to control the crowds that gathered to watch. The wedding scene, amongst others, was shot in a Cairo neighborhood to give the film a more realistic quality.
The film revolves around two female, working class friends, and the obstacles they face in their struggle to survive. The issues of how poorer, working class people deal with emotional and social problems are central themes of the film.