Two film projects from Egypt win production award at Berlinale Talents

Ahram Online , Tuesday 25 Feb 2020

Syrian short film Inana is the third winner of the same award, worth 60,000 euros for each project

Part of promotional material for film projects: Traitors of the Eyes [L] and Big Boys Don't Cry [R]

Two films by Egyptian directors -- Big Boys Don't Cry and Traitors of the Eyes -- were announced among three winners of the Berlinale Talents production award, part of the ongoing Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale).

The award, offering 60,000 euros to each chosen project, comes as a partnership between the Berlin International Film Festival and a corporate foundation, Robert Bosch Stiftung.

Big Boys Don't Cry, an 80-minute documentary, is directed by Muhammad Mustapha (Egypt) and produced by Philipp Maurice Raube (Germany) with coproduction by Hala Lotfy (Egypt).

The short brief about the project reveals the following: "When asked to play himself for the camera, the bodyguard Yehia, thinks he owns the frame and fills it with his everyday raw masculine performance. He doesn’t know that the filmmaker has completely different intentions. This is the story of two men, two performances, two realities, and two masks taken off."

Big Boys Don
(Photo: Still from Big Boys Don't Cry)

The 20-minute animation Traitors of the Eyes is directed by Abdelrahman Dnewar (Egypt) and Saad Dnewar (Egypt).

The film is produced by Georg Neubert (Germany) with Saad Dnewar (Egypt) as coproducer.

"After the tragic death of their mother, a pair of identical twins embark on a journey of grief and remembrance, where their sexuality and religion collide, and their memories come together to uncover secrets of their conservative Muslim family," reads the project's synopsis.

Traitors of the Eyes
(Photo: part of promotional material of film project Traitors of the Eyes)

The third film awarded the prize is a Syrian 15-minutes fiction titled Inana, directed and coproduced by Ragda Alazizi (Syria) with Philipp Döring as the German producer.  

The film features Inana, a woman on the brink of break down at the Saydnaya prison, Syria. When raped by the guard, "starved, humiliated and without any hope" as the synopsis described the protagonist, "she suddenly sees a chance to take revenge."

jury and winners
Jury and winners of the Berlinale Talents (Photo: Courtesy of Berlinale Talents / David Ausserhofer)

Since 2005, the Robert Bosch Stiftung corporation joins Berlinale in Berlinale Talents section offering monetary awards to three winners of film projects which are based on an international cooperation between up-and-coming German and Arab filmmakers.

A part of the prize for three chosen film projects brings together young filmmakers for an extensive summit programme of talks and panels with top-notch experts.

Berlinale Talents offers a range of Talents Labs and studio workshops in which the filmmakers can further develop and present your own project. 

"Berlinale Talents and the Robert Bosch Stiftung share a desire to connect people, create lasting relationships and encourage filmmakers in their own communities but also bring them together with international peers to create sustainable new visions," reads the information on the Berlinale website.

The 70th edition of the Berlin International Film Festival opened on 20 February and continues until 1 March.

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