×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dubai: Mohamed Hefzy’s Film Clinic Boards Abu Bakr Shawky’s ‘Yomeddine’ (EXCLUSIVE)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Prominent Egyptian independent producer Mohamed Hefzy’s Film Clinic has come on board as a co-producer of Egyptian-Austrian filmmaker Abu Bakr Shawky’s upcoming feature film “Yomeddine,” a road movie about a middle-aged man raised in a leper colony who embarks with a sidekick and a donkey on a journey across Egypt to try and reconnect with his family.

A long-gestating passion project which is now in post, “Yomeddine” is Shawky’s feature film debut and stems from his short “The Colony” that chronicles tales of the residents of the Abu Zaabal leper colony in Egypt.

Shawky, who studied political science and filmmaking in Cairo, is an alumn of NYU’s graduate film program.

The pic’s protagonist, named Beshay, is played by Rady Gamal a non-professional actor who suffers from leprosy and is a resident of the leper colony. According to “Yomeddine” promotional materials Beshay leaves the confines of the leper colony for the first time and takes a bold journey with an orphan boy named Obama and his donkey across Egypt to find the family that abandoned him as a child.

“You get to see a lot of interesting characters that are real people,” said Hefzy, speaking at the Dubai Film Festival market. He noted that “there are hardly any professional actors” in the film.

Popular on Variety

The pic, which draws on stories the director heard while filming his documentary, will mark the first film with a protagonist suffering from leprosy who gets a chance “to be defined by his humanity, not his disease,” according to Shawky’s directors’ statement.

Beshay’s plight “is treated in a light-hearted manner,” highlighting “his spirit in the face of misery – a universal trait of Egyptians as a whole,” the director also underlined.

“Yomeddine” recently won the works-in-progress nod at the El-Gouna festival’s Cinegouna Platform, which is where Hefzy saw it. It is produced by American-Egyptian producer Dina Emam and supported by now defunct Sanad development fund and the Tribeca Film Institute, among other institutions.

Hefzy said Film Clinic was helping with post and is trying to get “Yomeddine” “a really good festival premiere in 2018.”

Recent Film Clinic titles include “Clash,” which opened the 2016 Un Certain Regard in Cannes, and “Sheikh Jackson,” which launched from Toronto in September.

 

More Film

  • Anti-Gone

    Sundance: 2020 New Frontier Program Features Underwater VR, Chomsky A.I.

    The Sundance Institute revealed the last batch of programming for the 2020 Sundance Film Festival — minus a few last-minute additions to its feature lineup, still to come —  by announcing its New Frontier section, which this time around include not only augmented and virtual reality, but also SMS-based text messaging, biotech and artificial intelligence. [...]

  • Catherine Deneuve'Joker' premiere, 76th Venice Film

    Catherine Deneuve Out of Hospital After Stroke (Report)

    Catherine Deneuve has returned to her Paris home after more than a month in the hospital and at a rest home following a mild stroke, according to French report. The French screen icon was seen out and about by her neighbors in the Saint Germain arrondissement of Paris. Deneuve, 76, had what her family called [...]

  • Alma Harrel Honey Boy

    Hollywood Still Struggles With Parity Behind the Camera

    When Kees van Oostrum, president of the American Society of Cinematographers, was at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018, he noticed that many documentaries had been shot by women. But he was also aware of the dismal number of female lensers hired for feature films. “I realized we had to do something,” he says. That [...]

  • Mob Town

    'Mob Town': Film Review

    “Who doesn’t love spaghetti?” asks New York State Trooper Ed Croswell (David Arquette) while on a date with single mother Natalie (Jennifer Esposito) in “Mob Town,” and the answer, according to Danny A. Abeckaser’s film, is no one. The traditional Italian dish figures prominently in this low-rent Mafia tale, which — based on an infamous [...]

  • Code 8

    'Code 8': Film Review

    Essentially a humbler, grungier indie “X-Men” without the same dependence on splashy effects, “Code 8” is a solid genre effort from director Jeff Chan. Spun off from his prior short of the same name, the crowdfunded effort is resourceful and polished on a tight budget. Its fast-paced progress has enough appeal to suggest a possible [...]

  • Cats Movie

    'Cats' Producers Respond to Twitter Trailer Backlash

    The producers of “Cats” have seen the memes and read the mean tweets that greeted the first trailer for the big screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage smash. When the initial teaser was launched this past summer, social media commentators feasted on the way that an A-list cast that includes Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, [...]

  • Carol Titleman dead

    Lucasfilm Exec Carol Titelman Dies at 73

    Carol Wikarska Titelman, director of publications during the early days of Lucasfilm, died on Dec. 7 in her New York apartment. She was 73. Titelman died following complications with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a statement released on her behalf. Titelman began her career at Lucasfilm answering phones in the months before “Star Wars: Episode IV [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content