After Granting six projects in the first round of Crossroads, AFAC announced today (June 6, 2012) the second and last batch of film projects to receive grants from Crossroads. Six projects were selected one feature-length narrative, two short narratives and three documentaries. The selected projects were announced during a press conference held at "Metropolis" Sofil in the presence of AFAC representatives as well as the jurors.
The second cycle of Crossroads (open between January 12 and April 12, 2012) received 142 applications from across the Arab world. A jury committee composed of director Ali Essafi (Morocco), producer Dora Bouchoucha (Tunisia), director Ghassan Salhab (Lebanon), director Mohamed Soueid (Lebanon) and producer/distributor Irit Neidhardt (Germany) evaluated the applications and selected six projects to receive the program grants.
Beside the Financial support, Crossroads provides professional support to the selected projects in the development stage and accompanies them in development, production, post-production, promotion and distribution.
The Selected Projects are:
Project Title: Out/In the Streets
Grantees: Philip Rizk and Jasmina Metwaly (Egypt)
Project Brief: This is a film about labor workers. Throughout the ongoing Egyptian Revolution some workers have lost a relative or friend; most continue to be exploited by factory owners and many are fighting back and resisting. This film mixes the forms of documentary and fiction in order to see the Egyptian revolution from the workers’ perspective beyond the factory’s heavy gates, beyond the frozen assembly lines and rusty machinery. The film challenges both the visual discourse of the role of labor workers in film, as well as the workers’ political narrative in the context of the revolution in Egypt.
Project Title: The Curve
Grantee: Rifqi Assaf (Jordan)
Project Brief: One night, “Radi”, a Jordanian of Palestinian origins suffering from social phobia, hears a shrilling scream in the distance. Despite his phobia, he challenges himself by switching on the lights of his home – a VW microbus. With the seemingly trivial switching on of a light, he soon finds himself on a road trip that alters his clockwork and very private lifestyle. A series of unanticipated events occur along the way - past and present memories and surprising illusions reveal themselves in collective confrontations.
Project Title: Fatherland
Grantee: Sara Ishak (Yemen)
Project Brief: The film follows the filmmaker’s personal documentation of a casual reunion between estranged family members which escalates into an all-engulfing popular uprising. The film also focuses on the shifting dynamics between women and men within the context of a modern Yemeni family, testing all preconceived ideas about identity, social customs, familial and social bonds at a time when women's roles and input have become integral to the Yemeni revolution.
Project Title: A Very Dangerous Man
Grantee: Mazen Khaled (Lebanon)
Type: Short fiction
Project Brief: Beirut, Lebanon; April 2012. Life seems as normal as can be in this city, yet something is bubbling underneath. As people go about their normal lives, a political activist gets chased around the streets of Hamra. Meanwhile, a suspicious looking bag easily changes hands, gets transported, and awaits an unknown destination in a busy Hamra cafe.
Project Title: Abruption
Grantee: Djemal Fawzy (Tunisia)
Type: Short fiction
Project Brief: Tunisia lives in a climate of terror and violence two days after January 14th; an atmosphere of insecurity prevails in the country and in the heart of the people. Ramla, a 26-year-old movies props woman, has been busy for weeks in a shooting of a thriller. Forced to finish the missing few days of shooting, the team resumes work in a very tense atmosphere. Forty five minutes before curfew, Ramla leaves the movie set to go straight home. Thwarted by the tense and stressful day, she forgets one crucial detail and finds herself in a complicated situation
Project Title: Caravan in a Room
Grantee: Hazem ALhamwi (Syria)
Project Brief: The year 2011 witnessed the beginning of unprecedented social movement in Syria after 40 years of political stagnation. From the beginning, death was the risk at stake for venturing out to the streets and expressing one’s rage. In the early months of the uprisings, I was overtaken by a deep feeling of the certainty of death looming near me, around me. How can it not be when it was claiming lives in the streets next to mine? I decided to face this feeling with a kind of courage and optimism, by finding enjoyment in the things I do. Like someone wanting to leave traces of my life, I turned to the two things I enjoyed most : painting and photography. Painting gave me space and distance to be with myself and whatever thoughts and memories that may entail. My personal memories linked into the heavy collective memories of violence in the streets of my homeland. The world looks on as if this violence were something new and alien, but I have known it well… I have seen it in schools, in families, in neighborhood streets, since the day I was born. Today it is simply rising to the surface. This film shares narratives from Syria. Some are personal stories others are social commentaries, some arise from the present, others look at the past, all seek to explain the reasons for the outbreak of this revolution and how one’s soul can transform from seeking death to finding new desire for life.