BERLIN – Nobel-prize-winning Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz’s “Wedding Song,” about the vibrant 1970’s Cairo theatre scene, will be adapted into an Arab TV series with international ambitions by iProductions, the new film and TV outfit bankrolled by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris.
Amgad Sabry, who is CEO of iProductions, made the treck to Berlin EFM mart also to launch feature film “Mawlana,” which is being touted as a daring Egyptian drama about an Imam contending with both moral issues raised by rampant corruption and also personal issues with his wife.
The company has pledged to invest $8 million in production over the next year and a half. That is a substantial sum for the Arab world, where a $1 million pic is considered big budget.
The “Wedding Song” skein, touted as Egypt’s biggest-budget TV production this year, will be directed by Mohammed Yassin (“Heat Wave”). An all-star cast is attached comprising Mona Zaki (“Schehrezade, Tell Me a Story”), Jordanian actress Saba Mubarak (“The Price”), and Iyad Nassar.
It’s about a young playwright who’s hit play possibly reveals that he killed his wife and therefore about the boundaries between fiction and reality.
Mahfouz won the Nobel for literature in 1988 and is the only Arab author to have done so.
Though “Wedding Song,” now in preprod, will be a Ramadan drama, iProductions has high hopes the skein will break out into the international market.
The “Mawlana” drama, which stars Amr Saad (“Children of Streets”) in the title role, is being directed by Magdy Ahmed Ali (“The Nile Birds”) and is currently in post.