The Venice Film Festival Has Begun And It Features Ahmed Malek's New Movie

02 September 2020
Ahmed Malek, Venice Film Festival, The Furnace, Cinema, Aladdin, Egypt
The Furnace will play this week as Venice goes ahead as planned

The Furnace, a film starring Ahmed Malek, will make its debut at the Venice Film Festival this week. This is Malek’s first film outside of the Middle East.

After narrowly missing out on the role of Aladdin to Mena Massoud, in part due to the lack of a passport, Malek has been quietly building a body of work in Egypt.

In his latest project however, he travelled to the Australian outback for a role in The Furnace, directed by Roderick Mackay. An adventure focusing on Afghan Cameleers, who worked in the outback in the late nineteenth century, Malek plays Hanif.

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#Repost @labiennale ・・・ #BiennaleCinema2020 │ #Orizzonti L'opera prima dell'australiano #RoderickMacKay, #TheFurnace, è ambientata in Australia Occidentale durante la corsa all'oro del 1890. Lì seguiamo le vicende di un cammelliere afgano (#AhmedMalek) e di un tipo losco (#DavidWenham) in fuga con due lingotti d'oro marchiati col simbolo della Corona. Un racconto che mette in luce una parte importante, ma poco conosciuta, della storia australiana, quella dei cammellieri "Ghan", che attraversavano il deserto e stringevano legami con gli aborigeni. Appuntamento al Lido di Venezia dal 2 al 12 settembre! Scopri di più → - link in bio . . @rhiodhryk's directorial debut #TheFurnace is set in Western Australia in the 1890s, during the state's gold rush, and follows an Afghan cameleer (@jrmalek) and a shady character (#DavidWenham) in possession of two gold bars stamped with the mark of the Crown. An adventure story that highlights the forgotten history of the so-called "Ghan" cameleers, who crossed the country's vast desert and formed ties with Aboriginal people. See you at the Lido di Venezia from September 2nd to 12th! Find out more → - link in bio . #Venezia77

A post shared by Ahmed Malek - احمد مالك (@jrmalek) on

A young Afghan cameleer who wants to escape his surroundings and return home, Hanif must partner with a bushman on the run who is in possesion of two gold bars.

The pair must outrun the police and a vigilante posse to reach a furnace which will allow them to remove the mark of the crown from the gold.

Made up of groups of Afghan, Indian and Middle Eastern men, ‘Ghan’ cameleers came to the Australia during the goldrush in the late 1800s.

“You really want to know about camels?” Malek asked us when we interviewed him in May. “I have three things that can help you. First, you have to be friendly. Second, you’ve got to be firm. Third... third...”

The third thing escaped him, but the film has not.

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Ahmed Malek Is About To Go Big

Kicking off today, the Venice film festival is the first major event on the film circuit to take place in person, since the rise of the coronavirus pandemic.

While Cannes went digital, as did the recent IIFF, Venice, arguably the starriest event on the calendar, refused to budge.

Going ahead as planned, with enhanced safety measure, films from around the world are to be shown in socially distanced screenings, with masks mandatory in all venues, both inside and out. Temperatures will be checked and a strict track and trace programme is also in place.

The Furnace premieres today, September 2.