'Winter' ripe for worldwide sales, other pics in pipeline
Egyptian actor-producer-thesp Amr Waked is ramping up production of his ambitious ZAD shingle, which aims to foster a burst of fresh filmmaking in post-Tahrir Square Cairo.Gallic Wide Management has taken world sales on ZAD’s first completed pic, “Winter of Discontent” (formerly “R for Revolution”), helmed by Ibrahim El Batout (“Eye of the Sun”), one year after Waked announced the project in Cannes and shortly after it started shooting during the first days of the Cairo turmoil. Centered around a state security police officer, a computer whiz, and a feisty TV anchorwoman, “Winter” encompasses “the three elements that made the revolution: the military, new media, and old media,” Waked said. Waked, whose Cairo-based ZAD also has a European outpost, recently joined the European Producers Club (EPC). Upcoming projects in the ZAD pipeline include: •”The Exile,” by Atef Hetata, Youssef Cahine’s longtime assistant. Set in 1980s Luxor, pic turns on an incident that sparked Christian-Muslim tensions with present-day ramifications. •”In Which Land You Die,” a $3.8 million drama by Ahmed Maher (“The Traveller”) about an illegal Egyptian immigrant in Italy and his quest to bury his dead mother in Egypt. Pic recently got the most available coin, about $350,000, from Egypt’s Ministry of Culture’s development fund and has been selected for the Torino Film Lab. •”The Sheikh vs. Imam,” a docu by Ahmed el Hawary about the late bling singer singer Sheikh Imam, known for revolutionary songs for which he was often jailed.