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WHAT IS YOMEDDINE?

Yomeddine is a coming-of-age comedic drama, a road trip where two outcasts, Beshay and Shika, discover the harshness of the world outside the leper colony where they have spent all their lives.

After the death of his wife, Beshay and his apprentice Shika travel on a donkey cart southwards to search for what remains of Beshay's family. They hope to find out why his father never came back for him after dropping him off at the gates of the colony when he was a little child. 

The film is based on real characters that writer/director Abu Bakr Shawky has met at the Abu Zaabal Leper Colony while filming award-winning documentary "The Colony", which screened at many local and international film festivals around the world. You can watch the trailer here

Flyer of leprosy documentary "The Colony"
Flyer of leprosy documentary "The Colony"

We want to tell the stories of the people Abu Bakr met during his visits to the leper colony. A recurring story he heard was being dropped off at the gates of the colony as children and not seeing their families again. Yomeddine was conceived out of a hybrid of these true stories. Beshay, the illiterate childless leper and his schizophrenic wife; Hamed, the legless former truck driver; Gomaa, the railroad thief; Shika, the Nubian boy - these real characters find their place in the film. 

Yomeddine writer/director Shawky at the Leper Colony
Yomeddine writer/director Shawky at the Leper Colony

AWARDS & GRANTS TO DATE

Selected for NYU's Purple List: You can read more about it here 

Selected by Abu Dhabi Film Festival's SANAD Fund. Check out the announcement on Daily Variety and Ahram Online

UPDATE: NextPix Grant Winner

OUR GOALS

We want to make Yomeddine a quality film, artistically and technically. We are going to hire professional crew and a combination of professional actors as well as non-actors, who will add authenticity that professional actors may not be able to provide for this subject. 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

It's crunch time! We've got a good portion of our production budget in place so far - with a portion provided by the SANAD Fund as well as private investors - and this is our final push to make it happen! 

We are scheduled to begin principal photography in December and need your help to raise at least $20,000 in order to meet our budget and embark on this journey.

TRANSPORTATION & ACCOMMODATION 

This will require the majority of the money raised on Kickstarter, specifically because Yomeddine is a road movie. We are going to travel along the Nile from Cairo to Qena and will need logistical power: trucks to move equipment, RVs to transport cast and crew, and to ensure they are as comfortable as possible in the conditions of rural Egypt in order to work their magic on set!

MEALS

We're going to be on the road for the majority of the film, so we will need to provide meals for our hard-working crew. Preferably, we will have a mobile kitchen in order to ensure the quality of the food.

SECURITY

Traveling for days on end through the backroads of Egypt with expensive equipment and film crew hardly go unnoticed. We will need security with us at all times to ensure safety of everyone involved with the film. We take safety very seriously and will work above and beyond to ensure a safe work environment.

FINAL LOCATION SCOUTS

The director, producers, director of photography, and location manager need to go on a final survey of our locations in order to make sure there are no surprises when we arrive at to shoot.

EQUIPMENT RENTAL

Thanks to our wonderful Producer Dina Harb we were able to secure most of our camera equipment for free! However, there are still a few items we will need while we're on the road, such as grip and lighting kits, to name a few.

PROGRESS

November: We are deep into the casting process. We will conduct our final location scouts. In addition, we will secure our transportation and finalize logistics, accommodations, and crew.

December-January: Showtime! We are going to be on the road filming our movie!

THE TEAM

 ABU BAKR SHAWKY  Writer/Director/Producer

Abu Bakr Shawky is an Egyptian-Austrian writer, director and editor. He is the founder of Desert Highway Pictures, the production company for Yomeddine. His short films The Colony, Martyr Friday and Things I Heard on Wednesdays have been screened at festivals around the world. His commercials have been shortlisted and awarded at the American Independent Commercial Producers Awards and Porsche Awards in Germany.  

Shawky’s short film The Road to Atalia, a look into Egypt’s thriving business of illegal migration, was produced by the International Organization for Migration in 2010 and featured renowned Egyptian actor Amr Waked. 

As a speaker, Shawky has participated in the European Forum Alpbach and Prague’s Forum 2000, where he was a panelist on media and human rights in post-revolutionary Egypt. 

Shawky holds a BA in Political Science from the American University in Cairo, and a BA in Film Directing from Cairo's High Institute of Cinema. He is an MFA candidate at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts graduate film program.

DINA HARB  Producer

Harb is founder and managing partner of Birthmark Films, a production company based in Egypt, her native country. Harb is a film producer and a literary agent for a number of renowned Arab novelists.Harb is currently assistant president Cairo International Film Festival while distributing a feature length documentary, which she also produced, called Yallah! Underground. 

Harb served as associate producer of Words of Witness (2012, 70 min); an award-winning documentary and produced two award-winning shorts in the United States of America. Harb’s background is project management and strategy in the field of marketing, communications and advertising. Her wide range of clients included Master Foods, Heineken and NSGB, to name a few. Harb has also produced more than 50 commercials for international clients such as Coca Cola, Pepsi, Nokia, CNN, Olympic Electric, Qatar National Bank, Danone and Danette. She is an MFA candidate at Columbia University’s Graduate School of the Arts.

DINA EMAM  Co-Producer

Emam is an Egyptian-American filmmaker and holds a BS degree from New York University in Marketing and International Business, with a Concentration in Entertainment Media, and is now currently pursuing her MFA in Creative Producing from Columbia University.

Prior to graduating, Dina worked at MTV Networks in New York City on numerous award shows and specials such as, Do Something! Awards, NewNowNext Awards, Storytellers: Kings of Leon, Storytellers: Cee Lo Green, Storytellers: Mumford and Sons, CMT Crossroads: Sting & Vince Gill and the Daytime Emmy Award winning show, Vh1’s Big Morning Buzz Live. In addition, she has worked on Sahbet El Saada, an Egyptian variety show on the arts, culture, and history in Egypt. Yomeddine is her second project in Egypt and plans to continue her work in the Middle Eastern film industry.

Her passion extends across anything that has to do with music, culture, world history and the human condition.

FEDERICO CESCA  Cinematographer

Argentine cinematographer Cesca recently wrapped Michael J Larnell's feature film, Cronies, with the support of a Spike Lee grant. 

Cesca received numerous accolades, including the 2014 ARRI-CSC Volker Bahnemann Award for cinematography.  He has worked with Gerard Depardieu, Todd Solondz, James Franco and Chloë Sevigny among others. Cesca’s work has been screened in various film festivals, including the NYFF, Venice Biennale, Cannes and the Berlinale, as well as HBO. Cesca is an MFA  candidate in cinematography from New York University's Film Program, where he studied and photographed over 20 short affiliated films in the US, Europe, Africa and South America. Cesca also holds a BA in Architecture and also studied music and aesthetics.

Federico is currently attached as cinematographer to a few feature films that are scheduled for production between 2014 and 2015. 

LAURA MOSS  Production Designer

 Laura’s film directing debut, 'Rising Up' was a critically acclaimed mockumentary about the Zombie Civil Rights Movement. The film, which won Best Director at the Boston International Film Festival, toured the horror festival circuit and streamed on SONY’s crackle.com.  

 

Her film work has since screened at the Atlanta Horror Festival, Washington DC Horror Festival, Coney Island Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives and the First Run Festival, where she won a special commendation for her film, Passing.

Laura is also a production designer and special effects artist. She has designed AICP nominated and Porsche award-winning commercials, as well as Atsby Vermouth's first-ever commercial campaign. Her narrative design work has screened at top-tier festivals, including Sundance and SXSW.

Laura recently completed her studies at NYU's Graduate Film program.

Risks and challenges

"We only fear that the sky should fall on our heads" Gallic Proverb

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    JUNIOR CONTRIBUTOR: You will receive a Thank You Email

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    THE TRAVELER: You will receive a postcard from the Leper Colony

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    THE PEN PAL: You will receive a personal drawing made by the children from the leper colony's kindergarten

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    FRIEND OF THE COMMUNITY: A portion of your contribution will be donated to the leper colony + You will receive a copy of the shooting script + "THANK YOU" in the film end credits

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    THE FILM BUFF: A portion of your contribution will be donated to the leper colony + You will receive Behind-the-Scenes footage + Invite to watch the editing process in New York (travel not included) + "Special Thank You" in the film end credits

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    WATCH IT COME ALIVE: A portion of your contribution will be donated to the leper colony + Invitation to a test screening at NYU (travel not included) + Behind-the-Scenes footage + Blooper reel + Invite to watch the editing process in New York (travel not included)" + Special Thank You" in the film end credits

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    SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR: A portion of your contribution will be donated to the leper colony + "Associate Producer" credit + Bound color copy of the film's Look Book and stills (to watch the transformation before/after the shoot) + Invitation to a test screening at NYU (travel not included) + Behind-the-Scenes footage + Blooper reel + Invite to watch the editing process in New York (travel not included)

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Funding period

- (30 days)