French sales company Pyramide International has taken world sales on Egyptian auteur Mohamed Diab’s timely Islamic fundamentalism-themed thriller “Clash,” now set to start shooting in Cairo in April with Franco-German network Arte also on board.
Diab, known internationally for bold sex harassment pic “Cairo 678,” will delve into Egypt’s religion-related political turbulence with “Clash,” which looks likely to take on broader global significance.
“Clash” is entirely inside an overcrowded police truck packed with both pro-and anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators gathered 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.
“It becomes more relevant today when co-existence of ideologically opposed forces is part of the reason for extremism all over the world,” said Egyptian writer-producer Mohamed Hefzy who is shepherding the film through his Film Clinic company. Film Clinic is known, among other titles, for 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
Pyramide topper Eric Lagesse is co-producing “Clash” via his Sampek shingle and will release it in France through Pyramide, besides selling it internationally.
Arte France Cinema, the unit headed by former Locarno fest topper Olivier Pere, has boarded the film as co-producer.
In the wake of the early January Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks in Paris, Hefzy and Lagesse had vowed to forge ahead with “Clash,” which marks Film Clinic’s first official Egypt-France co-production and collaboration between the two countries that “is not just financial,” Hefzy said.
The film will start shooting April 26 partly on the real Cairo locations of the protests and partly in studio. In “tackles Islamist extremists and Islamists versus the rest of society in a nonjudgemental way,” added Hefzy and will mix drama, humor and human situations in a story “that is not just about politics.”