Recently, I had the privilege of traveling to Morocco, Egypt and Lebanon as part of the Global Media Makers program—a new initiative I am involved with at Film Independent in partnership with the US Department of State.
In Cairo, I had the pleasure of meeting filmmakers Tamer El Said and Khalid Abdallah at Cimatheque, an alternative film center they have miraculously and painstakingly built in in a stunning and newly restored flat in Cairo’s historic downtown in the years following the revolution. And while El Said and Abdallah are not slated to participants in this year’s inaugural edition Global Media Makers, I was impressed enough with what they are doing that I felt compelled to shed some light on their current projects.
The Cimatheque aims to celebrate and archive Egypt’s rich cinematic history, as well as to inspire and support a new independent film movement in Cairo. I was deeply moved by Tamer and Khalid’s fierce determination and astounded by what they had created despite the many obstacles and uncertainties they face as artists and advocates working in Egypt today.
Tamer El Said’s feature debut, In The Last Days of the City, premiered in February as part of the Berlin International Film Festival and won the Caligari Prize. The film—which has been eight years in the making—takes place in Cairo in 2009 in the lead up to the Egyptian revolution, and stars Khalid in the lead role (who also starred in The Kite Runner and The Square).
In the Last Days of the City has its US premiere March 26 and 27 as part of “New Directors/New Films” at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York.
Here’s the film’s teaser trailer:
To learn more about In the Last Days of the City—including when and where to catch a screening of the film this weekend—please visit the film’s page at New Directors, New Voices or check out this article about the film in this month’s Artforum.