Egypt’s Mohamed Hefzy And France’s Eric Lagesse Undeterred In Their Commitment To Produce Thriller ‘Clash’ About Islamist Extremists (EXCLUSIVE)

mohamed diab
Courtesy of San Francisco Film Society

In the wake of the early January terrorist attacks in Paris, Cairo-based producer Mohamed Hefzy and France’s Eric Lagesse, topper of Pyramide Films, have vowed to forge ahead with Egyptian director Mohamed Diab Islamic fundamentalism-themed thriller “Clash,” indicating they have no intention of retreating in the face of the Charlie Hebdo slaughter or to cave in to caution the killings could induce.

When Hefzy heard about the killings of twelve people in the French satirical magazine’s office by two terrorists shouting “Allahu akbar!” as they fired, one of the first things the prominent Egyptian indie writer-producer did was reach out to Lagesse.

The reaction he got was: “Now we really need to make this film faster, and it’s more relevant,” Hefzy recently recounted. And “it’s not for business reasons that he and others are saying this. They feel you need to shine some light on the truth,” he said.

“Clash,” which is on track to start shooting in Cairo in March, is set entirely inside an overcrowded police truck packed with both pro and anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators amid one of the massive protests that followed the events of July 3, 2013, as crowds celebrated the ouster of prexy Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood member.

Hefzy calls it “a film that tackles Islamist extremists and Islamists versus the rest of society in a nonjudgemental way.”

The idea is for “Clash” to try to “come to an understanding about what is driving these people,” he says.

Hefzy’s Film Clinic shingle is known for, among other titles Ahmad Abdalla’s 2010 “Microphone,” about the hip-hop scene in Egypt’s Alexandria, a radical movie that was considered a harbinger of the Arab Spring

Diab, pictured, who is known internationally for bold sex harassment pic “Cairo 678,” has called “Clash” a portrayal of a “very real and tense situation that brings out the worst and best of humanity.”