Coyotes

THERE ARE NO LAWS. ONLY COYOTES.

Project type: Fiction Short
Project status: Production
Writer/Director: Said Zagha
Producer: Myriam Sassine
Co-Producer: Laura Jumel
Cast: Manal Issa, Ali Suliman
Editor: Matthieu Taponier
Sound Designer: Rana Eid
 
Email: sacinephile@gmail.com
 
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Logline

A Palestinian doctor’s nightly commute from Jericho to her home in Ramallah turns treacherous when her tire blows. Surrounded by wild animals on the desolate road, a stranger comes to her rescue but she soon realizes that he’s not the Good Samaritan he seems to be.

Synopsis

Lubna, a 35 year old female surgeon, is used to her exhausting post-midnight commute home from the hospital from Jericho to Ramallah. But tonight, an impromptu Israeli checkpoint forces her to turn around and take a more dangerous road home.

Lubna drives the desolate, winding road with confidence. But shortly thereafter, her tire blows. She has no idea how to fix it. Howling coyotes nearby make the experience terrifying, until a mysterious stranger, Mukhlis, (48) stops by to help. When he presents her with the nail he’s found in the brand-new spare tire, she suspects a trap.

When she confronts him, he kindly counters that it’s her choice: a ride home in his car or a sleepless night with the coyotes. She anxiously gets into the back seat. On the way to Ramallah, things take a drastic turn when he slowly begins revealing his knowledge of very intimate details of her life.

A desperate life-and-death battle ensues. Lubna tries to ward off Mukhlis’ imminent threat, but matters keep spinning out of control. Can she emerge unscathed?
 

Crashing Eid S1. Said Zagha in Crashing Eid S1. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

Meet the Filmmakers

Said Zagha – Writer/Director
Palestinian writer-director Said Zagha studied film and English at Ohio’s Kenyon College. He also has a master’s degree in screenwriting from the London Film School. Most recently, Said directed the first two episodes of Crashing Eid, a Netflix miniseries set in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which made Netflix’s top ten in over 32 territories and for over 8 weeks. His second short film, Lovesick in the West Bank premiered in 2021 at the Academy- qualifying Urbanworld Film Festival in New York and Tampere Film Festival. His first short film, Five Boys and a Wheel, premiered at the Dubai International Film Festival in 2016 and went on to play at 40+ fests worldwide, winning three awards in Mexico, Oman, and Algeria. It is distributed by MAD Solutions and is currently streaming on OSN. He is currently developing his first feature film, Weedestine, a Palestine-set revenge thriller, which received development and production support from Jordan’s Royal Film Commission, the Red Sea Film Fund, the Doha Film Institute, and AFAC. It has been selected at several labs, including EAVE and Frontieres pitching platform. Said is a Berlinale Talents alumnus (2020).

Myriam Sassine – Producer
Myriam Sassine majored in audiovisual studies and received an M.A. in Cinema Research. From 2010 till 2022, she joined Abbout Productions producing several features and documentaries such as Costa Brava, Lebanon by Mounia Akl (Venice Film Festival Official Selection / TIFF 2021), 1982 by Oualid Mouaness (TIFF 2019) and Diaries from Lebanon by Myriam El Hajj (Berlinale 2024).

From 2016 to 2020, she was the COO of Schortcut Films dedicated to coproducing international films such as Félicité by Alain Gomis and Beauty and the Dogs by Kaouther Ben Hania. In 2016, she cofounded Maskoon Fantastic Film Festival, the only genre film festival in the Middle East and acts as the festival’s executive director. Since 2021, she’s the artistic director of Aflamuna Connection, Aflamuna’s coproduction platform. She’s also the head of Full Circle Lab Nouvelle-Aquitaine Hessen and a producing mentor for several institutions. She is an alumna of EAVE Producer’s Workshop (2019) and Film Independent Producing Lab (2019).

Laura Jumel – Co-Producer
Laura Jumel, a graduate from Sciences Po and La Sorbonne university, is a French producer living between Paris and Berlin. Her previous experiences include work in production companies specialized in documentaries and feature films. She joined Salaud Morisset in 2019 and took part to both the distribution activities of the company and the development of its production branch work. She produced several short films, selected in numerous festivals worldwide such as Witness by Ali Asgari and Trumpets in the Sky by Rakan Mayasi.

Manal Issa – Cast
Manal Issa is a French Lebanese actress known for her versatility and compelling performances. She began her career in the film Parisienne by Danielle Arbid (2015). Issa has appeared in both French and international award winning films, including The Swimmers by Sally El Hosaini, Nocturama by Bertrand Bonello, Memory Box by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige and The Sea Ahead by Ely Dagher. With her captivating presence and dedication to her craft, Issa continues to establish herself as one of the most promising talents in the Arab world.

Ali Suliman – Cast
Ali Suliman is a Palestinian actor known for his work in the Academy-award nominated Paradise Now (2005) and 200 Meters by Ameen Nayfeh. Suliman is also known for his work on many Hollywood film, including Body of Lies (2007) and Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (2017) and Arthur The King (2024). Ali Suliman was the lead actor in Said Zagha’s two previous shorts and this will be their third collaboration.

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