Film Clinic, the Cairo-based production company behind some of the freshest, boundary-pushing, Arab movies made recently, has hired Paris-based producer and film industry expert Daniel Ziskind as its European representative.
Ziskind joins the expanding shingle headed by Mohamed Hefzy in an effort to step up its European co-production and international sales side.
Ziskind, who will also continue to represent multihyphenate Amr Waked, Egypt’s biggest international star, and also a producer (“Winter of Discontent”), has more than three decades of experience in the French biz, where he started out as an a.d. for venerable auteurs including Claude Lelouch and Alain Resnais. More recently Ziskind worked for five years with Egypt’s Good News Group, producer of Marwan Hamed’s groundbreaking epic “The Yacoubian Building,” which he sold to Jean Labadie’s Bac Films in 2006.
Ziskind’s first project with Film Clinic is timely Islamic fundamentalism-themed thriller “Clash,” which he brought to French sales company Pyramide International. They took world sales on the pic by Egyptian auteur Mohamed Diab, who is known internationally for bold sex harassment pic “Cairo 678.” “Clash” is now set to start shooting in Cairo in April with Franco-German network Arte also on board.
More announcements on Film Clinic’s slate and its growing European partnerships are expected during the upcoming Cannes fest.
Film Clinic is known, among other titles, for Ahmad Abdalla’s 2010 “Microphone,” about the hip-hop scene in Egypt’s Alexandria; this radical movie was considered a harbinger of the Arab Spring. Hefzy more recently produced Amr Salama’s “Excuse My French,” about a Christian kid enrolled in an Islamic public school who finds himself forced to conceal his religious identity, and also Emirati filmmaker Ali Mostafa’s pan-Arab road movie “From A to B.”
Projects on Film Clinic’s slate include Abdalla’s next feature, Beirut-set “Black Tea,” an adaptation of Lebanese writer Rabee Jaber’s 1995 novel, and Sherif El Bendary’s “Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim,” about a man who loses his girlfriend in the 2011 uprising and believes that her soul has been reincarnated in a goat.