British director Ken Loach’s Sixteen Films production shingle, France’s Le Pact, Germany’s Pandora and Egypt’s Film Clinic have joined forces to co-produce Gaza-set dramedy “Catch the Moon,” by Palestinian director Sameh Zoabi. Pic marks a rare multi-pronged European-Arab co-production that could serve as a new model for mounting Arab movies with mainstream elements.
Le Pacte will handle world sales.
Rebecca O’Brien, who is Loach’s partner in Sixteen Films, is producing “Moon,” which is described as a heart-warming comedy.
“Moon” is about a young Palestinian named Halim who’s father whimsically commits to providing him and his future bride a Mercedes Benz as dowry, only to realize this is impossible due to the current Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip. They need to provide this dowry in order for the marriage to go ahead.
“Moon” marks Zoabi’s (pictured) second feature following “Man Without a Cell Phone,” a pic in a comic vein about a Palestinian slacker who just wants to meet girls and chat on his mobile.
The “Catch the Moon” screenplay is by Finnish-born theater and TV writer Anne Koski-Wood, and is supported by the BFI Film Fund. Pic is in the process of casting.
Plan is for the pic to shoot five weeks in Jordan and Palestine this year and to be released in 2016.
“Jean Labadie at Le Pacte was immediately taken with the script and has supported us closely in our search for the right partners for this project,” enthused O’Brian in a statement.
“It’s a testament to the quality of the writing and the ideas within the project that partners as strong as Pandora in Germany and Film Clinic in Egypt have decided to come on board.”
Mohamed Hefzy’s Film Clinic is known for producing fresh Arab fare in different genres, including Ahmad Abdallah’s 2010 “Microphone,” about the hip-hop scene in Egypt, and Welsh-Egyptian helmer Sally El Hosaini gay Arab gangster movie “My Brother Devil.”