Mohamed Diab’s Clash: A joint French-Egyptian effort
by Giorgia Cacciatore
- The second film by Egyptian director Mohamed Diab will be co-produced by European outfits Sampek and Arte, and distributed by Pyramide
Sampek founder Eric Lagesse tells Cineuropa about his first encounter with the then debuting Mohamed Diab, as he stumbled upon an Egyptian feature called 678 while at Berlin. As he watched the film, he knew that he was “witnessing the birth of a director”. For his directorial debut, Diab had chosen the loathsome story of sexual harassment in Cairo – a caustic topic to impose on the Egyptian film industry, as well as on the country’s audiences.
Clash [+see also:
film profile], the second feature to be written and directed by Diab, is no less controversial. The filmmaker engages with Islamic fundamentalism through a thriller that unfolds entirely in a police van after the demonstrations that took place following the expulsion of Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013. Forced to co-exist in the same claustrophobic setting, pro- and anti-Muslim Brotherhood activists will confront each other, in a sharp blend of drama and comedy.
The movie, which represents the third co-production and second international co-production for the new French production outfit Sampek, will start shooting in Cairo on 26 April, in the actual locations where the protests were held. Egyptian production company Film Clinic, run by Mohamed Hefzy, will also be supported by the Franco-German network Arte, headed by Olivier Père. The film will be distributed by Pyramide in France and sold abroad by Pyramide International.