During the Alexandria Mediterranean Film Festival, Egyptian actress Ilham Shahin spoke out against a journalist who recently criticised her in a popular nationalist newspaper referring to her as the replacement for veteran actress Athar El-Hakim. Shahin said that, although she is not particularly polite with people, she is honest and faces situations with sincerity, but that she was deeply irritated by the journalist's opinion, who had criticised her without cause. Shahin spoke about similar attacks on her performances, highlighting instances when she was criticised before the work had been properly assessed and reviewed. The festival’s opening ceremony was attended by a group of prominent actors and media personalities including Hala Sarhan and Prince Abaza, president of the festival. Actress Hanan Motawie, Khaled El-Sawy, Khaled Zaki, Sherine and Nariman El-Faky also attended the ceremony. Several honours were presented at the ceremony, including Khaled El-Zadjali from Oman and French producer John Woolley who were both recognised for their contributions to cinema. Greek-Egyptian director Kostas Ferris, French actress Caroline Cellier and Egyptian actress Hanan Motawie were also awarded for their cinematic achievements.