Mohamed Diab was 2013’s San Francisco Film Society Artist in Residence – a program that brings a filmmaker to San Francisco for a two-week residency, which includes participating in each of the Film Society’s core areas – education, exhibition and filmmaker services, as well as a public screening,.
As part of his residency, Diab presented his last work, the feature film “Cairo 678,” the 2010 drama that follows the lives of 3 women and their search for justice from the daily plight of sexual harassment in Egypt. It’s one of a handful of recent Egyptian films that shed light on and condemn sexism, misogyny, and challenge long-standing patriarchal systems of oppression in that country.
Diab is parlaying his recent successes, not-quite fresh from the 2-week long SFFS residence, into a new project, which will tackle another controversial topic, Islamic fundamentalism in Egypt.
To be titled “Clash,” the film, which will be a co-production between Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy’s Film Clinic production company (the excellent “My Brother the Devil”) and French production outfit Sampek, will be set entirely inside an overcrowded police truck that’s full of both pro- and anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrators, who were all arrested together during one of the many protests that followed the events of the July 2013 Egyptian coup d’état, when then President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, was removed from power by the military, as the Egyptian constitution was suspended.
It sounds surely like what will be a powder keg of a set-up.
“The film portrays a very real and tense situation that brings out the worst and best of humanity,” Diab has said about the project, which will start shooting in Cairo next month, on location, exactly where the protests were actually held.
Diab’s last film, the aforementioned “Cairo 678,” is available on DVD.