Egyptian rising star Ahmed Malek just landed a lead role in an Australian feature film, titled The Furnace. The young actor will be co-starring alongside Australian veteran actor, David Wenham, best known for his role in Lion.

The Furnace, set in West Australia in the 1890s, is a quest for identity and an invitation to explore the forgotten history of Australia. The adventure-drama sheds light on the Ghan cameleers who came from India, Afghanistan, and Persia, to the country’s desert and formed a relationship with the aboriginals.

Malek first gained international acclaim at the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) for his role in Sheikh Jackson back in 2017. He was also named one of the rising stars at TIFF the following year. The 23-year-old actor plays the role of a camel driver who joins forces with a bushman, played by Wenham. The pair attempt to trick the committed troopers at a secret furnace. 

Other cast members include Baykali Ganambarr, Trevor Jamieson, Erik Thomson, Mahesh Jadu, and Osamah Sami. The Furnace is produced by Timothy White and Tenille Kennedy. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s Roderich MacKay’s debut directorial feature.

Production is expected to start next month in West Australia’s breathtaking Mount Magnet and Kalbarri areas.