Offering Fortress Film Clinic Award at Dubai Film Connection
Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy will be part of the 12th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) (9-16 December) with three film productions. Competing at the Muhr Feature Films Competition are Before the Summer Crowds by Mohamed Khan and The Curve by Riqi Assaf. Both films are landing world premieres at the festival and are produced by Film Clinic. Hefzy's third film in Dubai is The Idol and it will screen as part of the Arabian Sights programme. Produced by Fortress Film Clinic, the film is directed by the Academy Award-nominated Hany Abu-Assad.
Heralding a promising future for Arab and international co-productions, the three films involved Hefzy with different production partners. Before the Summer Crowds is produced by Hefzy in collaboration with Wael Omar (Middle West Films) and Hani Osama (The Producers). Set in a seaside resort, Before the Summer Crowds tracks a group of people who meet each other by the beginning of summer season. The film stars Maged El Kedwany, Hana Shiha, and Ahmed Dawood, who will also attend the film's world-premiere in Dubai.
Hefzy collaborated with Jordanian producer Rula Nasser on the production of The Cruve. The film follows Radi, who leads a reclusive life in his own van and finds himself on a road trip with three strangers that alters his clockwork and very private lifestyle. Stars Ashraf Barhoum and Fatina Layla will attend the world premiere.
For The Idol, Hefzy collaborated with producers Ali Jafar and Amira Diab through his Dubai-based Fortress Film Clinic, which is a partnership between his production company Film Clinic and Fortress Capital Investments. The film is also produced in collaboration with many production companies, including MBC group. Recounting the story of Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf's rise to fame as he won the 2013 Arab Idol competition, The Idol film traces the ten-year-old Mohamad Assaf (Qais Atallah) and his elder sister, twelve-year-old Nour (Hiba Atallah), who are bonded by a shared obsession with music. Together, they scheme to find ways to buy musical instruments and start a band with their friends Ashraf (Ahmad Qassim) and Omar (Abdel karim Abu Baraka). The first to realize that her brother has a special talent for singing, Nour pushes the band to dream big and practice tirelessly. When the harsh reality of life in Gaza catches up with them, she remains a driving force, urging her brother to defy obstacle after the other and share his gift with the world.
At Dubai Film Connection (10-14 December), Hefzy's Fortress Film Clinic is offering the, Fortress Film Clinic Award: a cash prize of $15,000 USD for one of 12 film projects that will take part in the Connection. Hefzy is also listed as a guest speaker at the Connection's panel discussion 'How to Find a Producer? (And Why You Really Need One?)', which aims at helping young filmmakers with scripts pitch their film projects and approach producers. Set to be held on Friday December 11th at 02:00 PM, the panel will be moderated by Hany Abu-Assad.
As part of Film Clinic's strategy in supporting the Arab film industry, Hefzy is always keen on taking part in DIFF's various events. His film Microphone previously won the Best Editor - Feature Award in the festival's 6th edition. Film Clinic also presented its own filmmaking award at the Dubai Film Forum for the Best Debut Feature Project. Among the winning projects was
I Am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced by director Khadija Al-Salami, which later won the Best Muhr Fiction Feature at the festival's 11th edition.