Tahrir ‘Winter of Discontent’ film premiers at Venice's summer > film festival
Film director Ibrahim Batout'
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Egyptian film “Winter of Discontent” will be premiered in this year’s Venice International Film Festival, where it competes for the festival’s Orizzonti Section, director Ibrahim Batout has announced, according to Egyptian media reports.
Starring Amr Waked, Farah Youssef and Salah al-Hanafy, the film depicts the lives of an activist, a journalist and a state security officer during the first dynamic 18 days of the revolution.
The feature film’s budget of 5 million Egyptian pounds ($824,265) sets it apart from some of Batout’s earlier work such as “Ein Shams” and “Hawi.” This is a high budget production in contrast with the rest of the local movie industry.
The film’s production, which started with an initial budget of 500,000 pounds ($82,426), was a joint venture between four production companies including Ein Shams Films, ZAD Communications and Production LLC and Aroma Film Labs and Material House Film Production Egypt.
“You rarely find four different companies working on the same film, each complementing the other to make it work,” Waked said.
Waked’s promises, along with his rich profile, have left the audience hoping that this film would be different from other cinematic work that attempted to depict the Egyptian revolution.
“Whereas the revolution does act as a backdrop to the events, the film is not about that,” Waked said. The movie is more focused on reflecting the changes in the lives of the main characters with the advent of the revolution.
Batout began with the film last year based on an incomplete plot with a vague and uncertain idea. “I wanted to make something,” he said, “but I was not sure what it was.”
The project was put on hold for two months following the stepping down of Mubarak, which had left Batout’s idea in further disarray. When the shooting resumed, the whole crew was contributing to the plot and the characters’ lines. According to Waked, it proved to be a highly rewarding experience for the cast.
In order to avoid taking the normally available channels of distribution in Egypt, which often work against the success of non-commercial and experimental films, the filmmaker is aiming for alternative methods of distribution, such as collaborating with a bank in order to open movie theaters in poor neighborhoods that would feature non-commercial films.
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