Yasmin Raeis: A Decade of Capturing Hearts & Awards

Distinctive, an adjective that is often used to describe those who stand out in comparison to their surroundings due to one of their characteristics. In her case, it has never been one characteristic solely. Ever since her earliest role on the small screen in 2010, Yasmin Raeis has managed to effortlessly capture hearts and keep minds from forgetting her name. Between her bold character, unique features and peculiar sense of fashion – she is the epitome of an unorthodox starlet. With a filmography of multiple award-winning movies under her belt, Yasmin Raeis is one of Egypt’s most celebrated chameleons, who have managed to be many women and tell many stories over the course of a decade.

Choosing to morph into another unexpected character for Ramadan 2021, Raeis delved into the alleys of Egypt, where a story infused with drama and action is unfolded in the seasonal series, Moluok El Gadaana “Kings of Chivalry “. Portraying the leading female role of Faten, Yasmin Raeis takes her fans to an uncharted territory, which she has never stepped foot in before. “This is my first Ramadan series since 2015. The experience is certainly different from films and it has taught me a lot, I am definitely a different actress after this production,” says the actress excitedly.

Looking back at her journey, the actress believes that her biggest achievement was being able to experiment with multiple genres and not cornering herself in a specific niche. “I believe I was lucky enough to nurture a wide spectrum of roles in a relatively short period of time.” Raeis adds with a nostalgic flicker in her eyes “I have dabbled with comedy, action, drama, and romantic productions. If you ask me though about what I would like to do in the future, my answer without a doubt would be everything, I want to try everything and portray everything.” Always opting to approach new projects with an open mind and a willingness to learn, the actress shares that she has no such thing as a concrete criteria when choosing or accepting a role. On contrary, Yasmin Raeis believes that her decisions are often based on multiple conditions and factors that are associated to each project. “My character and way of thinking certainly changes every few years, reflecting my growth as a human and actress. Hence, my criteria change regularly based on the way I perceive the world around me.” According to Yasmin Raeis, she prefers to perceive herself as someone who is always open to change and development in every aspect of her life. Her firm belief in the importance of constant change makes her proud of her choices today. “Any role that I did not previously accept, I had good reasons and had to turn it down for it contradicted with another commitment or life event at the time. I do not regret any professional decision, which I took. Regret is a big word and it goes against the need and importance of growth.”

With that in mind, Raeis still remembers how a certain project did not only present itself to her at the right timing, but, also became a defining moment in her career. Almost eight years ago, the actress was selected by the late filmmaker Mohamed Khan to play the leading role in one of his most successful cinematic masterpieces, celebrated by both critics and audience, The Factory Girl. “I certainly knew from the very first moment I touched the script that The Factory Girl was bond to create a massive wave and become a focal transition in my career, taking me to new heights and truly positioning my talent on the local and regional maps.” Raeis adds with evident passion taking over her features “I expected it to be a very important personal milestone. I walked into this project with an abundance of determination, excitement and positive energy – it is as if I manifested its massive success.” Premiering at the Dubai International Film Festival in December 2013, the film received several awards and recognitions – including being selected as the Egyptian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards. Moreover, Raeis’s share of awards included best actress award at Malmo Arab Film Festival (MAFF) in Sweden, Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) in the UAE and Silk Road Film Festival in Ireland.

Previously considered elitist, award winning productions and film festivals have been gaining an increased popularity amongst the local and regional audience. Spearheading this change of perception, Raeis has managed to blur the lines between what is favored by the audience and what is praised by the experts. “A film’s participation in a given festival does not necessarily make it an elitist production. Unlike few years ago, festival movies are screened across all cinemas and later broadcasted on TV within only few months, allowing it high viewership and a chance at being a mainstream hit.”

The actress explains “back in the days, festival films rarely made it to TV, making it difficult to attain even for those who were interested in watching them.” According to the actress, the audience has the right to have diverse preferences; however, no one is allowed to restrain the creative thinking of a filmmaker. “Each filmmaker should be allowed the space and freedom to create his production in a way that matches his thoughts. A film is an artistic expression of the filmmaker’s soul – no one should put a rigid definition for that. No one is allowed to tell a creative person what to do and what not to do.”

Nayera Yasser
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