CINEPHILIA BOUND CANNES 2018
MIDDLE EASTERN & AFRICAN AUTHORS/FILMMAKERS – INTERNATIONAL PRODUCERS MEETINGS AT CANNES FILM FESTIVAL
Project: I Am Here But You Can't See Me
Lebanon, 1st feature
Once upon a time in a film there was a city called Beirut. In that city, Viola lived, she sang songs and killed politicians.
Feyrouz Serhal acquired her Master's degree in Film and Screen Studies at Goldsmiths College University of London, after having worked extensively as director and producer at some of the most prominent Arab TV channels in the Middle East. She has also written and directed several independent short video works. Her first short fiction film TSHWEESH premiered at Locarno Film Festival in 2017. Serhal is now in development of I AM HERE BUT YOU CAN'T SEE ME, her first feature film.
Project: Supreme Authority
Egypt - 2nd narrative feature
28 January 2011: a revolution is taking place in Egypt. A 25-year-old young woman kills her husband. Filled by the guilt, she decides to face the consequences of her act. She arrives to the police station to find it empty. The police have been evicted from the streets and chaos has replaced law and order.
Mohammed Hammad is an Egyptian director with a number of short films in his repertoire. He wrote, produced, and directed the short film “Central” (2008). In 2010, he produced and directed the short film "Pale Red", that took part in many international festivals, such as Montpellier Festival of Mediterranean films and Seattle International Film Festival, and won the Best Film dealing with women issues Award at the Carthage Film Festival (JCC), and also won Best Sort Film in Alexandria Film Festival.
"Withered Green" “Akhdar Yabes” was his debut feature film and was selected to screen at Cineasti del Presente Competition at Locarno International Film Festival and Hamburg Film Festival, also selected at Stockholm International Film Festival, Durban International Film Festival, Singapore International Film Festival, Sao Paulo International Film Festival and more than 50 Film festival.
He won Best Director Award at Dubai International Film, also won the Golden Palm Award at Mexico International Film Festival and more than 20 awards so far.
Hammad was selected as a jury member in Impact section at Stockholm International Film Festival. He was a member in the Selection Committee at Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), at Ismailia International Film Festival For Documentaries And Shorts, and a member of the jury at Zawya Short Film Festival in Cairo.
Project: Khsara "Pickled"
Palestine, Honduras - 1st feature
Khsara is a comedy about women don’t get married “in time,” set within the traditionalist Palestinian Diaspora in Honduras, a culturally rich and textured world that is suspended in time, circa Palestine 1960s.
Suha’s filmmaking explores the displacement of immigrant communities and her passion lies in bridging cultures. The Cup Reader, shot in Palestine premiered at the TriBeCa Film Festival 2013 and won the Next Great Filmmaker Award at the Berkshire International Film Festival and the Baghdad International Film Festival. Her most recent short film, Pioneer High, is based on the true story of her mother’s first days in the U.S. after immigration. She is in development on a feature film, Khsara (Pickled) that has been supported by the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, Torino Film Lab, IFP No Borders, Emerging Visions and the Berlinale Talent Campus and Talent Market.
Suha also works with agencies and clients as a brand strategy consultant. She was a co-founder of DivineCaroline, a publishing platform for women to tell their stories. For seven years she was part of the film selection committee of the Arab Film Festival in San Francisco and has also served on the LunaFest Board of Advisors. Currently she is a teaching artist with the TriBeCa Institute and Maysles Documentary Center in New York City.
Project: In White
Lebanon - 1st feature
A bright young Lebanese engineer moves to NYC from Beirut, leaving behind the limiting path her career-oriented mother paved for her and falling for forbidden love along the way.
Dania Bdeir is a Lebanese writer & director with an intense love/hate relationship with Lebanon which she finds to be her biggest heartache and sincerest inspiration. Bdeir, currently a member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective, has a BA in Graphic Design from the American University of Beirut and an MFA in directing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where she received a full scholarship in her third year.
Her latest short film, In White, had its world premiere at the renowned Clermont Ferrand film festival and went on to screen at the BFI London Film Festival, Uppsala International short film festival and more than 30 film festivals worldwide. It has won a dozen awards including the International Grand Prize at the Rio de Janeiro international short film festival thus making it eligible for the 2019 Academy Awards in the short live-action category. In White is a proof of concept for Bdeir’s first feature film which she is currently in development for.
Project: Stuck In My Name
Egypt - 1st feature
Hossam, who is named after his uncle, dreams that his life will be a copy of his uncle's wonderful life. When he discovers that his uncle's life is nothing but a series of tragedies, he finds that his destiny has already trapped him into the life of his uncle, and that there is no escape anymore.
In 2006, Muhammad Refaat started to study Television and Cinema Directing at Cairo University. For his graduation project, he wrote and directed his debut short documentary, ‘The Kingdom’ (2010), which was named Best Foreign-Language Film at the International Student Film Festival Hollywood. In 2010, he received a scholarship to study Film Production in the Netherlands, where he participated in making a feature-length documentary about the experiences of international students abroad. In 2014, Refaat moved to Doha to join the Al Jazeera Documentary production team. There, he has worked as a commissioning producer on several films around the MENA region. In 2017, he wrote the short film ‘Chained Prey’ at the Doha Film Institute-Torino Film Lab’s Short Scriptwriting Narrative Scriptwriting Lab. The screenplay went on to win the Best Screenplay award at the Cinephilia screenwriting lab at the Arab Film Festival in Rotterdam. He developed his first feature film script, Stuck in my Name, at Doha Film Institute-Torino Film Lab’s.
Pitching videos of selected projects will be available for the duration of Cannes Film Festival 2018 for private viewing at Maison Des Scenaristes and on Cinephilia online private screening site.
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For our 2nd edition of Cinephilia Bound Cannes, we have received 90 projects in development, narrative and documentary, from all corners of the Middle East and North Africa. We are pleased to announce 12 finalist projects that have shown originality in their storytelling and high cinematic quality.
Cinephilia Bound 2018 FINALISTS (in alphabetical order)
. Ali Ercivan, Exile (Turkey)
. Berrak Çolak, Everything in Its Right Place (Turkey)
. Dania Bdeir, In White (Lebanon)
. Feyrouz Serhal, I Am Here But You Can't See Me (Lebanon)
. Fourate Chahal, Washed Out (Lebanon)
. Houssem Sansa, Lafayette (Tunisia)
. Menna Ekram, Seashell (Egypt)
. Mohammed Hammad, Supreme Authority (Egypt)
. Muhammad Refaat, Stuck In My Name (Egypt)
. Sohail Afiat, Siyah Sefid (Iran)
. Suha Araj, Khsara (Palestine)
. Yassine El Idrissi, Saffron's Land (Morocco)