At MIME, we think very highly of those who work behind the scenes of great cinema and groundbreaking series. In the next few months, we have a big announcement coming out about just how important we believe nurturing and encouraging the fields of art direction, cinematography, sound design and editing is. But in the meanwhile, we wanted to start introducing you to these great men and women who make possible the films you watch in the theatre or you stream on your computer.
While most of the announcements this week about the upcoming Moon Knight release have focused on the death of actor Gaspard Ulliel (who played Anton Mogart/Midnight Man in all six of this season's episodes) in a skying accident, we cannot forget that less than 48 prior, the series' director Mohamed Diab had enthusiastically shared the trailer for it. As well as disclosed that the premiere of Moon Knight will be on March 30th of Disney+.
So we wanted to keep the momentum going, and point our attention to Ahmed Hafez, the Egyptian editor who is working on Marvel's highly anticipated Moon Knight directed by Diab, who has already collaborated with Hafez on two of his prior feature projects: Clash (2016) which premiered in Cannes and Amira (2021) which world premiered in Venice this past September.
For those who may have missed, well, everything, Moon Knight is a new globetrotting action-adventure series featuring a complex vigilante who suffers from dissociative identity disorder. The multiple identities that live within him find themselves thrust into a deadly war of the gods against the backdrops of both contemporary and ancient Egypt. The series stars man of the moment Oscar Issac as Marc Spector/Moon Knight/Steven Grant (we told you, dissociative!) and Ethan Hawke as his antagonist.
On his social media account, Hafez disclosed: “Been working really hard on this one for the past few months away from home. But the more challenging it got, the more rewarding it was for me. I’m proud to have had the opportunity to be part of this amazing project and life-changing experience through editing episode 103 and 104...Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way especially Mohamed Diab.”
Hafez’s career began at a very young age in a small editing room in Cairo. Through the years, he's worked on both MENA box office blockbusters as well as independent local and regional films that have competed and won in the most prestigious film festivals in the world. His work as a film editor has garnered him more than 15 local and international awards so far.
For his work on Clash, Hafez received three awards at the Carthage Film Festival (JCC), Cairo Film Society Festival and the Egyptian National Film Festival. And a few months ago, he gave a masterclass about the art and techniques of film editing at the Hungarian Society of Film and Video Editors (HSE) in Budapest, another first for an editor from the Arab world.
In 2017 Hafez worked on the Jordanian-Turkish feature film The Guest: Aleppo-Istanbul starring Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak. The film was written and directed by Turkish director Andaç Haznederoğlu and earned Hafez the Best Editing award at the International Bosphorus Film Festival in Turkey.
In recent years, Hafez's work has grown to include more regional and international productions, the most recent of which has been the Palestinian-Jordanian film Amira, his second collaboration with Mohamed Diab. This past year, Hafez edited his first TV play, Coco Chanel which was released on Shahid and marked the phenomenal comeback of the iconic Sherihan after a long hiatus. The musical was directed by Hadi El bagoury whom Hafez has often described as his “Godfather.” The duo worked together on many occasions, most recently on the romantic drama Full Moon (2021) starring Khaled El Nabawy, which premiered at the 5th edition of EL Gouna Film Festival and was just released across Egyptian theaters.
In 2020, Hafez edited Netflix's first Egyptian original series Paranormal directed by Amr Salama. The TV horror drama is based on the best-selling Arabic horror novels by late author Ahmed Khaled Tawfik. Hafez’s first collaboration with Salama goes back to the film Sheikh Jackson which world premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in 2017.
And last but not least, Hafez has worked with Marwan Hamed on almost all his box office blockbusters. Their collaboration started with The Blue Elephant in 2016 which became a massive hit at the time and The Originals. Followed by Dust in 2018, which Hafez considers to be the closest film to his heart for its storytelling style. It garnered him the Best Editing award at the Arabian Cinema Awards (ACA).
They are currently working together on the much-anticipated Kira & El Gin Egypt’s highest budget film ever, set to hit theaters in summer of 2022.