Screen International has unveiled the five emerging Middle East and North Africa talents in the fields of acting and directing selected for the seventh edition of Arab Stars Of Tomorrow.

This year’s line-up comprises Adwa Bader, the actress and poet from Saudi Arabia; Jordan’s Cynthia Madanat Sharaiha, director; Egyptian writer and director Morad Mostafa; Palestinian actor Muhammad Abed El Rahman; and fellow Jordanian actress Noor Taher.

The initiative celebrates Arab talent and highlights the hottest up-and-coming actors, writers and directors who are primed to make their mark in the international industry. The 2023 line-up was jointly curated by Screen International and journalist/festival programmer Kaleem Aftab.

Click on the links below to read the profiles of this year’s stars.

This is the second year Screen has partnered with Red Sea International Film Festival (Red Sea IFF) on presenting the selection. This year we have also teamed with Film AlUla, which hosted the photoshoot.

Bader’s most high profile role came in Meshal Aljaser’s comedy thriller Naga, which world premiered this year at Toronto and garnered the actress the festival’s Share Her Journey Fellowship and Award.

Madanat Sharaiha co-founded animation studio Digitales Media with husband and producing partner Shadi Sharaiha. Her feature length animation Saleem was the first Jordanian selection to play Annecy International Animation Film Festival.

Cairo-born Mostafa’s latest short, I Promise You Paradise, was a prize winner in Critics’ Week at Cannes this year.

Actor Abed El Rahman has starred in Firas Khoury’s Alam and Farah Nabulsi’s Toronto breakout The Teacher.

Jordanian actress, dancer, model and social-media influencer Taher gained widespread recognition in the Middle East and beyond for her role in Netflix’s 2021 Arabic original AlRawabi School For Girls.

On Saturday, December 2 the stars will take part in a panel discussion at 2pm AST at the Red Sea IFF festival hosted by Screen, following a breakfast reception.

Previous Arab Stars alumni include Adam Bessa, who shared the 2022 Cannes Un Certain Regard best performance award for his turn in Lotfy Nathan’s Harka; Lebanon director Mounia Akl; Nisrin Erradi, who starred in 2022 Venice Critics’ Week closer Queens; The Swimmers actor Ahmed Malek; Tara Abboud, star of Venice 2021 premiere Amira; filmmaker Sameh Alaa, who was selected for the Cannes Cinefondation residence in 2021; and Souad actor Bassant Ahmed.

Fionnuala Halligan, Screen International’s executive editor, reviews and new talent, said: “This is a strong year for Arab and North African cinema, both across the world and at home. This edition of Arab Stars of Tomorrow celebrates, we hope, an even brighter future to come as the support awarded by the festival helps to solidify filmmaking processes in the region.”

Red Sea IFF is the headline partner for Arab Stars Of Tomorrow, and Film Alula is the supporting partner.