30/01/2014

Med Film Factory 2014 kicks off in Amman

Arab and Tarzan Nasser's Casting one of eight first or second narrative film projects taking part

Grant Project Activities, Jordan

Med Film Factory 2014 kicks off in Amman

After making taking their short Condom Lead to Cannes last year, Gazan filmmaking twins Arab and Tarzan Nasser are now to develop their first feature film project Casting through the Med Film Factory training programme. The film is one of eight narrative feature film projects by young Arab directors to have been selected for the programme.

Casting is to follow Khalil, a solitary film director in a seaside city crowned by a hillside refugee camp, as he tries to make a film: "Inspired by our own experience of making films in Gaza, and specially the absurd difficulties we faced, it came naturally to want to tell a story about making movies against the tide and in a prohibitive context," the brothers write in their intention note. "Using humour to describe a situation the whole population is trapped in, and through an ensemble of burlesque urban vignettes that repeated [themselves] and slowly evolved in the wake of life’s surreal monotony of contemporary Gaza in Palestine, Casting draws a portrait of a whole society, and explores the very dialects of time, place, and identity."

The project's producer Rashid Abdel Hamid, who also produced Condom Lead, is to attend a producers' workshop in Amman from January 31 to February 5, as the first part of the Med Film Factory 2014 programme, which is also to include a director's workshop and a film assembly for directors and producers later on in the year.

Also attending the workshop will be the producers of seven other feature film projects from the Arab world: Palestinian director Deema Dabis' Shake, science fiction romance Killing Eternity, Two Rooms and a Parlour, a cinematic adaptation of the story by Egypt's Ibrahim Aslan to be directed by Sherif el-Bendary, Syrian director Rana Kazkaz' The Translator and Franco-Tunisian filmmaker Ismahane Lahmar's Tears Push Angels Away, as well as Kamir Ainouz' Honey Cigar and Yasmine Chouikh's Until the End of Time from Algeria.

The workshop is to include one-to-one sessions with mentors, as well as the presentation of production case studies, such as for Merzak Allouache's The Rooftops. Attending tutors are notably to include Belgian producer Michel Feller, French script doctor Magali Negroni, and French producer Marianne Dumoulin, who notably worked on Anne-Marie Jacir's Salt of this Sea, as well as Merzak Allouache's The Repentant and The Rooftops.

Med Film Factory is an advanced training programme for Arab film directors and producers working on their first or second feature narrative film project, initiated by Jordan's Royal Film Commission in partnership with Sud Ecriture, Tunisia, and the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, Ireland.  

Med Film Factory is one of several training programmes for South Mediterranean film professionals co-funded by the Euromed Audiovisual III programme that also include DOCmed, Access and Greenhouse.

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