Fatima Al-Banawi is a Saudi rising star, writer, and filmmaker who belongs to a generation of youthful specialists and artists that have moulded the prospering art scene in Saudi Arabia and is gradually becoming one of the more splendid and conspicuous faces both locally and globally, be it in film or television drama.
In 2020, Fatima participated in the Egyptian Horror series Paranormal, which achieved enormous success among audiences inside and outside the Middle Eastern world when it debuted on Netflix.
In 2020, Al-Banawi also blew away both local and Arab audiences in what was considered a case study for filmmakers during the Covid-19 crisis when she co-wrote, co-directed, and starred in the drama series Al Shak— a Shahid original that she shot fully from home during the pandemic.
In spite of all that, what truly put Al-Banawi on the radar was the role of Sara — a woman through postpartum depression, whose weakness is then exploited by her psychiatrist in the Egyptian thriller series 60 Minutes, which held the highest viewership in Egypt when it started streaming on Shahid in 2021.
More recently, Al-Banawi took part in the Saudi dark comedy feature Al Hamour H. A., which was released earlier this year in Saudi and Egyptian theatres. The film tells the true story of Hamour Sawwa — the biggest fraudster in the history of Saudi Arabia.
Fatima also starred in Champions by the award-winning Spanish filmmaker Manuel Calvo, who co-composed it with Oscar-nominee Javier Fesser. The film — which is an adaptation of the successful Spanish film Campeones — premiered at the Red Sea International Film Festival before getting the Best Picture Award as well as three other awards at the Spanish Film Academy’s Goya Awards.
And now, Al-Banwi is breaking into the Egyptian scene in Karim El-Adl’s recently released espionage comedy EL AMEL SEFR, which stars Akram Hosny and an elite group of comedy actors as well.
She is also awaiting the premiere of Faris Godus’ latest film AHLAM EL-ASR, in which she co-stars with Hakim Jumaa, Sohayb Godus, Najm, and Ismail Al-Hassan. Aside from her acting and filmmaking career, Fatima’s achievements also include being appointed as a jury member in several international festivals, including the 12th edition of the Malmö International Film Festival’s Feature Film Competition and the 43rd Cairo International Film Festival’s Horizons of Arab Cinema Competition.
Additionally, Al-Banawi was the official Middle East and Saudi brand ambassador for French luxury brand Cartier for two years and was part of the fashion giant’s advertising campaign for its Sixéme Sens jewellery collection.
Not only that but she also worked with a few other global brands, like Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Armani, while gracing the fronts of various high-profile fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Market, and Haya.
At last, she recently opened the doors to her studio ALF WAD as an acting coach, authored THE OTHER STORY — a book based on 5,000 on-the-go personal stories by anonymous people from Jeddah, which was released in several book fairs in the Arab region — and was named by Vanity Fair as one of the six most influential women in the Middle East during a gala dinner hosted by the Red Sea International Film Festival at the 76th Cannes Film Festival.