Crowfunded Egyptian/Palestinian film thrives at Rotterdam Film Fest

Ahram Online, Wednesday 30 Jan 2013

'Though I Know the River is Dry' directed by Omar Robert Hamilton is commended by Film Festival Rotterdam jury and nominated for European Film Awards 2013

Though I know the river is dry

'Though I Know the River is Dry' is an independent short film which tells the story of Alaa, a Palestinian man caught between the past and future.

Written and directed by Omar Robert Hamilton, an independent filmmaker and producer of the annual Palestine Festival of Literature, the film features 'Paradise Now' star Kais Nahif. 'Though I Know the River is Dry' debuted this month at the Film Festival Rotterdam, showing from 23 January to 3 February, and was declared the International Film Festival Rotterdam short film nominee for the European Film Awards 2013.

The Rotterdam jury made the following comments on Hamilton’s latest film, "The film is remarkable in the way it connects contemporary political issues with emotional dilemmas. Its cinematographic language builds on the qualities of the photographic composition, the direction of the actors and the subtle and intelligent use of archival material. The result embodies a poetic and restrained approach to questions which unfortunately are becoming more and more commonplace. In a particularly non-dogmatic manner, it offers multiple readings, while simultaneously sharply addressing historical, political and economical realities."

In his director's statement, Omar Robert Hamilton, who is also a co-founder of the Egyptian media collective Mosireen, explains that filmmakers and artists have an obligation to tell people's stories.

"With this short I think we are telling a relevant and resonant story, and telling it in a way that is both challenging and dramatic," Hamilton said.

"Having worked in Palestine for the last five years, living there for a month or two each year, I have been constantly thinking about how cinema - our most immersive art form - can hope to recreate even a fraction of the Palestinian experience," the director continues.

This film was supporting by two crowd-funding online platforms. Over two years, 182 people have contributed $29,000 to the film.

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