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Salma Abu Deif on Her Cannes Film Festival Debut: “It’s a Leap in My Career to Participate as an Arab Woman”


Egyptian actor and model Salma Abu Deif recently turned heads with her first-ever red carpet appearance at Cannes Film Festival. One of the Arab world’s rising stars who made her screen debut in the series Halawet El Donia as Alia in 2017, Abu Deif started with a career in modeling, and later chose the cinema industry. The transition was natural, as deep down Abu Deif always wanted to be an actor. Being a fan of movies such as The Godfather, The Shawshank Redemption, and inspired by icons such as Yehia El-Fakharany, Ahmed Mazhar, and Ahmed Ramzy, the actor is now making waves for her starring role in Sheikh Jackson by Amr Salama. She made her international debut at the Toronto International Film Festival and went on to be selected as the Egyptian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film.

For her Cannes debut, The UN Aid Ambassador walked the red carpet in a black Pinko dress and Chopard jewels paired with a red lip, and sleek hair.


Vogue Arabia caught up with the star to discuss her red carpet experience.

1. What do you like the most about the Cannes Film Festival?

Cannes is full of history, of amazing films, and everyone is sharing the same passion for filmmaking and cinema.

2. How would you describe your Cannes journey in these words?

Exciting, historic, thrilling!

3. What are your travel essentials?

If I have to choose three essentials, they would be sunblock, a book, and a sanitizer!

4. Your favorite spots to eat?

I love small French cafés and choosing one while walking in the little streets or in the Croisette.

5. How did you prepare for the red carpet?

I prepared it with my team, stylist Yasmin Eissa, and Nuno, my manager never left my side for a second. And a lot of skin care—for me, it’s very important.


6. How did you choose your dress for the red carpet?

I chose it based on what I am feeling inside. I wanted to wear something classic and elegant.

7. What does the Cannes Film Festival mean to you and your career?

It’s a leap in my career to participate as an Arab woman and to represent my country. It widened my eyes and my passion for films, to hopefully participate in the following years with my own movie.

8. Which is your favorite Palme d’Or film of all time?

I have a few, but Pulp Fiction and Parasite are my favorites.

9. What is your favorite French word?



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