brief about the participating projects and fellows of Rawi 2019.
“40 Years and One Night” by Bashayer Abdulaziz
Alsomali and Mohammed Alholayyil (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
On the eve of Eid
Al-Fitr holiday, six Saudi siblings discover a secret that makes their family
issues look more like an end of a battle and the beginning of a war.
Abdulaziz Alsomali is a screenwriter for film and television and a film editor,
from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Her scripts “A Thousand Years” and
“Cold”, are a Saudi Film Festival (2017)
official selection. She co-wrote two drama TV shows; “Bashar” and “Dune”. Bashayer has been a script
and idea consultant for over two years, and is currently working on writing her
first solo feature film, “Prophecy of an Equilibrium”.
Alholayyil is a writer and director born in Saudi Arabia.
His films have traveled around the world to international film festivals
winning several awards such as his short film “Matoor (Engine)” winning
the best short film award at the Beirut International Film
Festival in 2017, and his subsequent short film “300 Kilometer” winning
the best-short-film-award at The Dubai International Film Festival in 2018.
notably, he’s shown his films at the Saudi Film Days in Los Angeles, and the
Arab World Institute in Paris, France, and the Tangier International Film
“Abu Bassam” by Mohammad (Mike)
sudden reappearance of a family member thought to be dead spurs an immigrant
mother and son to renovate their struggling restaurant before their property
falls into foreclosure. The family’s
reunification is threatened by the changing immigration landscape in America
following the 9/11 attacks.
Mohammad (Mike) Elsherif
born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents and immigrated with his family to America
following the Persian Gulf War. He studied filmmaking with a concentration in
directing at the University of North Carolina - School of the Arts, where his
thesis film, “Red Autumn”, was selected by numerous festivals, and his
feature film debut, “City Strays”, was selected by multiple national
festivals as well. His recent short film, The Reel, was selected for the Short
Film Slam hosted by the Louisville Film Society.
by Chamoun Issa (Lebanon)
set in present-day Beirut, about a human rights lawyer who falls in love with
the son of an arms dealer.
Issa was born in Beirut during the civil
war, and fled with his family to Sweden when he was 10. He studied directing at
the UK’s National Film & Television School, where his graduation
film “Bilingual” was selected for festivals around the world and won a
couple of awards.
moment he is developing two new original feature films that are planned to go
into production before the end of the year.
Thieves” by Karim Ariqat and Mohammad Al-Nablsea (Jordan)
A team of Jordanian youth resort to theft in
order to ease their financial struggles but things get complicated.
Karim Ariqat is a
Jordanian actor and screenwriter. He has written for and acted with “Fooq
Al-Sada” (Jordanian sketch show) and wrote “Jalta”, a Jordanian
sitcom which aired in Ramadan on Ro’ya in 2018. Karim holds a Mechatronics
Engineering degree. His real dream was to become a writer. He’s an avid movie
watcher who after forming an improv comedy team in university he soon found his
way to acting and writing with “Fooq Al-Sada”.
Mohammad Al-Nablsea is a
storyteller from Amman. He first started writing school plays and short
stories, then he moved to stand-up comedy routines and sketch comedy. Writing
became a career after he began writing for “Fooq Al-Sada” (Jordanian
sketch show) in 2015 and then other shows like “Tashweesh Wadeh”
(political satire show), “Whales of the Dead Sea” (political drama), and
“Jalta” (sitcom). Since 2016, he’s also been writing and producing at
JWT, an advertising agency in Amman.
Am Here but You Can’t See Me” by Feyrouz Serhal
Once upon a time in a film there was a
city called Beirut, in that city Viola lived, she sang songs and killed corrupt
Feyrouz Serhal acquired
her Master’s degree in Film and Screen Studies at Goldsmiths College University
of London in 2009, after having worked extensively as director and a creative
producer at some of the most prominent Arab TV channels in the Middle
East. She has written and directed
several independent short video works, her last short narrative film “TSHWEESH”
premiered at the prestigious Locarno International Film Festival in 2017.
“Landslide” by May Al-Ghouti
A teenager finds himself in a middle
of a sexual identity crisis. After being kicked out from his parents’ house and
expelled from school, he meets a girl with a bad reputation to help him find
his true self.
May Al-Ghouti is from
Amman, Jordan. She completed English literature and German studies at the
University of Jordan, then opted for a Master’s degree in Human resources in
Oxford Brooks University, UK. She later graduated with two diplomas from SAE
institute in filmmaking studies, and worked on a few short school and local
projects. She has a self-published novella “The Womb”, a dark
psychological fantasy that can be found on Amazon, and she just finished her
second book “Miranda Moments”.
“Madness” by Hicham Amal
university professor living in Canada, returns to Morocco to spend his
holidays. The night he arrives, he discovers that his mother and his sister were
arrested in a supermarket, for shoplifting.
Hicham Amal is a
Moroccan movie director who started his career as a screenwriter for national
television networks. He wrote many teleplays in which he collaborated with
directors such as such Mohamed Nesrat and Abdellah El Yazani in works that were
produced by Nabil Ayouch. In 2016, he produced and directed his first feature
length film “The Morphine Melody” which was selected in the official
competition at Dubai International Film Festival, and won two prizes (Best
editing & Best First Feature) at the National Film Festival in Tangiers.