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Berlin: First Arab ‘Blair Witch’-Like Found Footage Chiller Screening At EFM

As Arab cinema begins to veer towards genre movies, hot Egyptian chiller “Warda” – touted as the first Arab found footage film in the “Blair Witch Project” vein – is preeming at EFM, after making a local splash.

Directed by young multi-hyphenate Hadi El Bagoury, “Warda” is rooted in the true story of a rural village in Egypt rattled by demonic occurrences. Pic, which traces a video blogger probing strange happenings in his Egyptian countryside home, has performed well in Egypt, the UAE, Oman and Palestine. The script is written by prominent indie producer Mohamed Hefzy, who co-produced with El Bagoury’s The Producers shingle.

Distributed by Cairo and Abu Dhabi-based MAD Solutions with locally innovative marketing tools, including test screenings – which caused the ending to be changed, in a first for the Arab world – and also massive social media use, “Warda” has pulled a relatively strong $370,000 from its first four territories. It will soon be released in Kuwait, Jordan and Qatar. The pic’s official Facebook page has reached 117,00 fans, making it among the top 5 fastest-growing entertainment pages in Egypt at the moment, MAD Solutions claims.

“From the very beginning, “Warda” was an interesting experience,” enthuses The Producers co-topper Hani Osama. “It was a new challenge to present such an unconventional film genre to an Arab audience.”

Pic is screening at EFM thanks to the Arab Cinema Center, the Arab film industry’s first umbrella group, organised by MAD Solutions.

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