NEW YORK, NY—Actress Nora Armani will be receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the opening ceremony of The Alexandria Film Festival‘s 38th edition which will be held on Wednesday, October 5 at 8 p.m. in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, under the auspices and in the presence of the Minister of Culture Dr. Nevin Al-Kilani, the governor of Alexandria Major General Mohamed Al-Sharif and a host of Egyptian, Arab and European movie stars. The Alexandria Film Festival’s 38th edition bears the name of Egyptian star Mahmoud Hemida.
Armani was born in Cairo, Egypt, to Armenian parents. In addition to being a versatile actress with multiple awards, she is a deeply rooted activist and humanitarian.
Most recently Armani was filmed for the Netflix feature film Absolute Dominion directed by Lexi Alexander. Labyrinth, a feature film directed by Mikayel Dovlatyan in which Armani co-stars with Serge Avedikian, recently premiered in a new version at the Golden Apricot Film Festival in Armenia.
Armani’s multiple screen credits as an actor also include I am Gitmo (Cannes), La Nouvelle Eve (with Karin Viard), Voisin Voisine (with Anemone), Le Coeur à l’Ouvrage (France), Deadline in Seven Days (Zhamketeh Yot Or), Labyrinth (Labirintos), Chasing Taste, Good Funk, Bourek, Last Station (Verjin Kayan), Santa Claus in Baghdad and numerous shorts such as Lazy People, Moving Stories, Crossing the Line, Echeck, Delusion, Salaam Shalom and Hungry. She has a powerful screen presence, and she has interpreted lead roles in American, French, British, Czech, Armenian and Egyptian films and TV series, appearing with Gamil Ratib, Simon Abkarian, Gerald Papasian, Salah Saadany, Mohammed Sobhi and Armen Djigarlkhanyan, among others.
Armani’s TV roles include “Black List: Redemption” (NBC), “Casualty” (BBC), “Golden Boy” (CBS) and “Al Asdiqaa – The Friends” (Egyptian TV) and numerous appearances on talk shows in the US, Armenia, Egypt and France. A film she directed, iMigrant Woman, won her the Best Woman Filmmaker of a Short award at the Toronto Independent Film Festival (Cift).
Armani is fluent in six languages and holds two master’s degrees: one in theater from Hunter College CUNY and the other in sociology from LSE, University of London. She completed her undergraduate studies at the American University in Cairo. Armani has trained as an actor at RADA and UCLA and in many workshops, including Ariane Mnouchkine’s acclaimed Théâtre du Soleil (Paris) and Simon McBurney’s Complicity Theater (London).
Armani divides her time between the US and France. She has performed on four continents and continues to perform in multiple languages. She is the founding artistic director of one of New York’s important film events, the SR Socially Relevant Film Festival NY, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in March 2023. The festival has screened over 600 films from 40 countries, including films from Egypt.
Armani has also produced films that have screened at the Cannes film Festival (Haifa – Rashid Masharawy), Rotterdam, London, Paris, AFI Los Angeles, Edinburgh Festivals and independently. Despite a diverse career in film production, Armani describes herself first and foremost as an actor. Her work on stage has won her accolades from both critics and audiences alike, as well as multiple awards, and her screen roles have earned her the Best Actress Award in Syunik for the film Labyrinth.
Armani’s expansive stage repertory includes Shakespeare, Shaw, Hammerstein, Molière, Chekhov, Guitry, Pinter, Labiche, Gallaire, Pirandello, Aslibekyan and her own self-penned plays. Among her many works is the dual award-winning play Sojourn at Ararat / Le Chant D’Ararat, which she and her stage partner Gerald Papasian created. The play premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and went on to Avignon in its English and French versions, respectively, winning awards and touring in over 25 cities on four continents in both versions. Armani’s recent stage work includes her self-penned one-woman play, Back on the Couch with Nora Armani, performed on Theater Row in New York.
Armani’s work as an actress, writer and director has rightfully earned her many prestigious awards and accolades, but being appreciated in her birthplace with a Lifetime Achievement Award has special meaning. “It is most important to be appreciated by your own family and your own people as that is home, and coming home is the warmest of all feelings. My sincere thanks to the director of the festival, film critic El Amir Abaza, for this special honor that brought tears to my eyes.”