Egyptian-Danish production ‘Light Upon Light’ to premiere at Copenhagen Int’l Documentary Film Festival

Ati Metwaly , Tuesday 22 Mar 2022

Directed by Danish film director and anthropologist Christian Suhr and produced by Egyptian filmmaker and producer Hala Lotfy through Hassala Films, documentary film ‘Light Upon Light’ will have its world premiere during the 19th edition of the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (CPH: DOX), which will run between 23 March and 3 April.

Light Upon Light

According to the film’s brief, Light upon Light is “a philosophical field trip from Cairo, along the Nile, and into the desert in search for what light means as a religious concept in post-revolutionary Egypt.”

“Through conversations and observations of breath-taking Muslim rituals, the light slowly breaks through and nuances the image of a religion and a political culture often viewed with prejudice and reduced to simplistic clichés.”

The 78-minute film, which saw production support from the Danish-Egyptian Dialogue Initiative (DEDI), will be screened within the NORDIC: DOX AWARD, a section presenting 12 films, including nine world premieres and three international premieres.

The film is coproduced by Hassala Film Collective, which was founded by Egyptian filmmaker and producer Hala Lotfy in 2012.

Among Hassala’s productions is ‘Coming Forth by Day’ by Hala Lotfy (2012), a film which had its European premiere at the Berlinale Forum in 2013 and won many awards, including the FIPRESCI Jury Prize o and Best Director from the Arab World at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

Its other productions include ‘Um Ghayeb: Mother of the Unborn’ by Nadine Salib (2014); ‘Night/Exterior’ by Ahmed Abdalla (2018), which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2018; and ‘Little Eagles’ by Mohamed Rashad (2016).

Light Upon Light is the only film from Egypt to be screened within the 19th CPH: DOX.

Directed by Christian Suhr, the film also includes cinematographer Amira Mortada and editor Mohamad Mostafa.

Aside from the Light Upon Light screening, the CPH: DOX will also witness a delegation of seven Egyptian filmmakers and industry professionals invited by the DEDI to participate in the festival.
This year’s CPH: DOX will feature over 200 new documentaries “that speak volumes about the world we live in,” reads the festival’s website. The event will present 76 world premieres, while 59 films will compete for awards in six international competitions. Several films focusing on Ukraine and Russia will be premiering in the festival’s main competition.

After two years of the coronavirus-shutdown, the CPH: DOX returns to Danish movie theatres following a suspension of physical screenings in 2020 and 2021.

This year, the festival’s organisers made sure to capitalise on numerous venues across Copenhagen to screen the new films, and have also added three new venues — the National Gallery of Denmark, the National Museum of Denmark, and Kunsthal Charlottenborg.

Founded in 2003, the CPH: DOX is one of the biggest documentary film festivals in the world. Every year, the festival fills Copenhagen’s cinemas with a selection of more than 200 films from around the world.

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