Egyptian-Austrian filmmaker Abu Bakr Shawky upcoming feature film 'Yomeddine' has been selected for screening at the prestigious Cannes film festival. The film will be the Egyptian made independent film to get invited into the main competition at the world famous film festival held annually in the French town.
Abu Bakr Shawky, a graduate of NYU Tisch film school, has gone through a long waiting period to complete this passion project which has been in post production since last year when it screened at the El Gouna works in progress section. The film is based on real characters that Shawky met at the Abu Zaabal Leper Colony while filming his documentary “The Colony.”
Many of the main protagonists in the film are played by non professional actors. The film follows Beshay, played by Rady Gamal who is a resident of the leper colony. Beshay leaves the confines of the leper colony for the first time and takes a bold journey with an orphan boy and his donkey across Egypt to find the family that abandoned him as a child.
Shawky and his wife and co-producer Dina Emam managed to have the film produced and funded through a combination of a Kickstarter campaign which raised $22,254, the Tribeca Film Institute, and from the now defunct Abu Dhabi film festival's SANAD fund. Last December at the Dubai film festival, prominent film producer Mohamed Hefzy announced his Film Clinic company would come on board as co-producer. At the 2017 Dubai film festival, Hefzy said to Variety that Film Clinic would help with post production and will attempt to get the movie “a really good festival premiere in 2018.”
“Thank you to the countless people who have supported us over the years. I wouldn’t know where to start. The cast and crew who endured the difficult conditions, lack of money, unusual distant locations, language barriers. And thank you Egypt for being what you are. You lay it all out in the open, just waiting for someone to tell your stories,” said Shawky in a Facebook post announcing the news.