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Neither you are you
nor home is home.
(Abu Tammam * 788 - † 845)
The origin of the idea: Aida & Egypt
This is the story of one of the greatest operas ever written, and the opera house in Cairo in which it premiered. When the famous Khedivial Opera House in Cairo was completely destroyed by fire in 1971, it was replaced by a three storey parking garage. The square however maintained its original name, Opera Square (Meidan El Opera).
Nothing Escapes My Eyes tells a very universal story that unfolds without words, simple and clear: It is about the silent transformation of a place and a human being, both subjected to the melancholy of conforming. (David Krippendorff, director)
The film Nothing Escapes My Eyes by David Krippendorff is a visual and audio experience that, through image and music only, connects two historical events: the opera Aida that premiered in that building in 1871, and its destruction 100 years later. Just as the identity of the city of Cairo underwent a transformation, the character of Aida is also depicted as a person trying to transform her identity in the attempt to conform to the dominating culture. Thus, this “urban schizophrenia” of a city that had its identity partially replaced, is connected with the figure of Aida.
Through music and images, parallels are being expressed between the story of the opera and the history of its location, between past and present, between questions of identity and cultural heritage versus the pressures to conform.
Father, I am not their slave.
Do not curse me nor reproach me -
You will call me daughter again,
For I shall be worthy of my country.
Remember that a whole people, conquered
And suffering, through you can rise again!
O fatherland, what a high price I must pay for you!
(excerpt: libretto from Verdi's Aida, by A. Ghislanzoni)
The film: Nothing Escapes My Eyes
After several years of video making using found footage, Nothing Escapes My Eyes is the first movie directed by David Krippendorff, in which he creates his own cinematographic images.
In an 8 minute sequence, accompanied by Verdi’s music, the film starts in an undefined place and ends with a large panoramic image. We see a woman in ancient Egyptian costume sitting in front of a dressing room mirror. During her actions the camera is slowly receding and gradually revealing to the audience the actual setting: The woman in front of the wardrobe mirror is on a parking deck - in the middle of a parking garage, at the Opera Square in Cairo.
STORYBOARD CAN BE SEEN IN OUR UPDATE SECTION!
David Krippendorff about
Nothing Escapes My Eyes
“At eight I discovered the Egyptian culture and became obsessed: My favourite past time was drawing in the Egyptian style, studying books on ancient Egypt and collecting anything I could that was related to this ancient culture. I discovered Verdi after having left Italy after several years, listening to his music was a way of reconnecting to the country of my childhood. Nothing Escapes My Eyes is therefore such a natural idea for me, as it brings together my three main passions: movies, music and my childhood obsession ancient Egypt.”
Our lead role: Hiam Abbass
Nothing Escapes My Eyes depicts a woman undergoing a fundamental transformation. To represent this character in a film that has no spoken dialogue, it is necessary to have an actress with outstanding strength, expressiveness and charisma.
We are proud to announce that for the main role we have the renowned actress Hiam Abbass. Well-known for her amazing performances in Lemon Tree, The Syrian Bride, The Visitor, and numerous other international films. In Lemon Tree, although the lead, she hardly talks, yet the strength of her performance is powerful and expressive. It was this performance that inspired the director, and it was his vision from the start to have her in his film. Hiam Abbass loves the project and has agreed to be part of it!
Our score: Muti and Ari Benjamin Meyers
Krippendorff’s first choice was the Muti recording with Montserrat Caballé. There was no question of compromising on this as the music plays such an important part. Since there is no spoken dialogue, the music serves as the narrative element of the film. Here as well we have been very lucky: EMI has given us the permission to use the excerpt from the Muti recording that is going to be the central score of the film. Adding to this, we are very glad to be collaborating with Ari Benjamin Meyers.
So, with the main actress and score secured, we are basically ready to go!
How we will produce the film and why we need your support NOW
The film shooting is scheduled for spring / summer 2013 in Cairo and Hamburg. 2013 is Verdi's 200th anniversary, so we would really like to have it ready as soon as possible to still be able to place it within cultural events dedicated to this celebration. It’s a co production between a team of producers from Berlin, Hamburg and Cairo, combining expertise in film and music production, facilities in post production and knowledge of local production circumstances both in Egypt and Germany. We have been working so intensely and for so long on this project that we can’t wait to have the final green light for the project – which is still depending on the financing.
Regarding funding, we have received support from Stiftung Kunstfonds Bonn and Filmförderung Hamburg (film funding from Hamburg). Kunstfonds, an artist grant, has been vital to allow the director to fully concentrate and dedicate his time to this project in 2012, Filmförderung Hamburg will be supporting the film production with € 15.000.
This project has already received support and patronage by:
How this Kickstarter campaign works
We set a goal - in this case, $23,500. We set a deadline. It is April 13th. You pledge whatever your heart desires. If you even contribute $10, you would be bringing us closer to our goal. In return we have prepared a very wide range of rewards, from simple ones that allow anyone to be supportive, to our extra special and limited “De Luxe” DIAMOND rewards! Your credit card won’t be charged until we achieve our goal by the established deadline, April 13th. If we achieve our goal, your credit card is charged with what you pledged and you receive your rewards. If we don't achieve our goal, your credit card is NOT charged.
Your support will make this project possible!
Example of rewards
Who we are
/// David Krippendorff, director, Berlin (GER)
Born 1967 in Berlin, David Krippendorff grew up in Italy, studied art in Berlin, lived in New York, and has always moved around through countries and cultures. This condition as “permanent foreigner” has brought him to investigate issues of home, national and cultural identity and belonging throughout his work, which has been shown internationally, a.o. at the New Museum (New York), the ICA (London) and the Hamburger Kunsthalle. He has participated in three art biennials and currently lives and works in Berlin.
/// Patrick Delsing / DOCK11, producer, Hamburg (GER)
“As a compositing artist I am very excited at the challenge of achieving in one single camera movement a range going from a close up to a panorama view, and all this in Cairo!”
Patrick Delsing is founder and co-managing director of DOCK11, an international film and television post production company. Previously the head of multimedia at Economia BBDO and since 2001 associate professor for film and visual effects at AEP Digital Arts Academy, he has represented a vast amount of films for commercials, tv, cinema and ad campaigns.
/// Laura Hofmann & Annette Gentz / MUSIC & FILM ARTS, co-producer, Berlin (GER)
Annette Gentz Music & Film Arts is a Berlin-based, internationally operating agency specialized in conceiving and implementing projects in the fields of film, music theatre, concert and sound art. The agency’s portfolio reflects the creative diversity of the composers and filmmakers it represents and closely collaborates with.
/// Mohamed Samir Sayed / DAYDREAM, co-producer, Cairo (EGY)
“The film is about my passion, classical music, my history and Cairo. In my point of view as an artist it is very important to mix past and present to have a clear vision about what really happened and what may happen in the future.”
Where art is at the centre, artists and creativity of any form can find their place. Graduating from the High Institute of Cinema in Cairo in 2002, I started DayDream in 2007 with a vision and a passion to create unique works of art based on different and creative ideas. DayDream aims to provide a solid and rich platform for young artists to express themselves.
/// Ari Benjamin Meyers, composer, Berlin (GER/US)
Ari Benjamin Meyers is a composer, artist, and 'musical polymath' (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). He has written scores for award winning films, such as "Closed Season" by Franziska Schlotterer, "Forgetting Dad" by Rick Minnich and "The Pack" by Franck Richard. Meyers' work has been seen and heard at exhibitions and museums worldwide, including the Centre Pompidou, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, dOCUMENTA 13, and Performa 11. His solo show "Songbook" is currently on display at Esther Schipper, Berlin.
/// Tobias von dem Borne, cinematographer, Berlin/Hamburg (GER)
"I find David´s approach fascinating. Both concerning his existing body of work and in particular the project "Nothing Escapes My Eyes". An important role appears to be perspective and dynamic. These paired with finding a certain rhythm and dynamic for the project makes me want to shoot these images and to finally show them to a greater audience."
Tobias von dem Borne, born 1978, grew up in Germany. He started taking pictures and small film clips during childhood. Work on film sets as electrician and camera assistant was soon followed by studies in art history and later cinematography at the renowned German Film and Television Academy in Berlin (dffb) and the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles (CalArts). He enjoys photography, traveling, surfing and arts. Tobias´ home base is currently Berlin.
Please also check out our updates frequently!
Risks and challenges
We have been working intensely on this project, and all important aspects have fallen into place. Once our budget is secured we are determined to complete it as soon as possible. We still hope to place it within events relating to Verdi's 200th anniversary. This will only be possible if we are able to complete the film by this summer. The only "risk" we can imagine is if we don't make this deadline and miss out of the many opportunities related to this event. Possible reasons for delay could be related to the current situation in Cairo. But otherwise everything is ready to start, so we hope we can keep the unforeseen as limited as possible!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (23 days)