Following the wrap of the shooting of the new film, producer Mohamed Hefzy reveals details on his new film production Clash and its storyline for the first time. Written by Mohamed and Khaled Diab, and directed by Mohamed Diab, Clash is a France, Egypt, Germany, UAE co-production, and happens to be the second major film production of UAE-based Fortress Film Clinic, in partnership with Dubai's EMC Media, as well as France's SAMPEK Production, Germany's NIKO Film, and of course Cairo-based Film Clinic. The film highlights the political unrest that took place following the June 30, 2013 revolution.
Even though two years have already passed since the events portrayed in the film, their political implications are still very much present. Hefzy explains how the film delves into these ramifications from a humanistic point of view,"Of course the film has to do with politics, but it is not a politicized film and it does not follow a specific political movement, nor does it have a political agenda. When you watch the film, you'll end up forgetting about the politics and experience the humanistic side of each character and their lust for life."
Clash is set entirely inside an overcrowded police truck packed with rival demonstrators who represent many facets of Egyptian society with their different social and political orientations. The film was entirely shot in an 8 meter police truck where many of the characters interact in a plot full of madness, violence, interlaced with touching and funny moments as well. This, however, presented a production challenge for the entire crew, "The film required months of preparation, training, and rehearsals. I doubt that any acting crew of any Egyptian film was subjected to such difficulties and challenges faced by Clash crew in terms of filming conditions and enduring months of rehearsals and preparations," said Hefzy.
Hefzy commented on the acting crew, which comprises Nelly Karim, Tarek Abdelaziz, Hany Adel, Ahmed Malek, Mahmoud Fares, Mohamed Abdel Azim, Gamil Barsoum, and others, saying they "worked as a team and individual stardom did not affect the work itself."
Aside from the conflict within the packed vehicle, the film also includes violent clashes, "Besides filming in a tight space, the clashes were the biggest challenge in terms of production and direction. It was necessary for the clashes to look so realistic that you feel that you are among those imprisoned inside the truck; and it's not a question of budget, but a capable director and a great effects team that is able to make the film look this realistic without any injuries to the crew," says Hefzy, who also pointed out the clash scene filmed beneath the Ring Road next to the El Mariotia waterway: "It's the large clash scene between Muslim Brotherhood protestors and the police. There is also the climax scene which was very difficult"
In previous statements made to Variety magazine, writer and director Mohamed Diab commented that Clash portrays a "very real and tense situation that brings out the worst and best of humanity where two extremely opposing sects are clashing together, and I only have my smuggled phone, a razor, and a primitive urinal."
Egyptian auteur Mohamed Diab, known internationally for bold sex harassment pic "678", is set to delve into his country's political turbulence with the drama-action thriller and portray the origins of societal violence, a phenomenon which is explained by Hefzy as springing due to "the packed car, but the question is how do we overcome violence springing from survival instinct, especially if this feeling accompanied hatred towards the other, resulting in cooperation between enemies in order to stay alive."
Clash is a joint production collaboration between several Arab and European production houses including: Film Clinic (Egypt) in collaboration with the French SAMPEK Production, NIKO Film (Germany), EMC Media (UAE) and Fortress Film Clinic (UAE). The film also is produced in collaboration between producers Mohamed Hefzy, Eric Lagesse, Nicole Gerhards in addition to Fortress Film Clinic's Hamed Mokhtar and Jamal Al Dabbous in their capacity as executive producers of the film. The Film is distributed by Al Massa in the Arab world and Pyramide International for France and the rest of the world.