Director Samir Nasr’s feature film SHARAF competes at the first edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival that will be held from December 6 to 15, 2021 in KSA. The film will be part of the Red Sea Competition for feature films, competing for the Golden Yusr Award, as well as other awards for directing, screenwriting and acting.
SHARAF’s Pan-Arab cast includes seven Arab nationalities, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Libya. In this film, Samir Nasr presents the microcosm of a prison which mirrors the complex situation of Arab societies living under dictatorship and poverty, through a class system that distinguishes between the wealthy “Royal prisoners” and the poor “Governmental prisoners”.
Commenting on the project, director Samir Nasr said, “Through my friendship with writer Sonallah Ibrahim, we took the time to develop the screenplay for SHARAF together for several years and we teamed his sense for details and his vast knowledge of the life inside the prison with my ideas of condensing this huge novel into an appealing and powerful filmic structure.”
Producer Silvana Santamaria comments: “Samir Nasr has created a beautiful and important piece of Arab Cinema and we are proud to present with our film new Arab talents to the world, who have proven their skills alongside well-known professionals from the region – in front and behind the camera.” Co-producer Adolf El-Assal also comments, “I am very happy and proud to be part of SHARAF’s journey and how Samir Nasr was able to direct such an incredible and sensitive film.”
Shot in Tunisia in co-production with the production company Zone Art Films, owned by Bilal Athimni, SHARAF stars Ahmed Al-Munirawi, Fadi Abi Samra, Khaled Houissa, Ridha Boukadida and Tawfik Bahri. The film is based on Sonallah Ibrahim’s novel of the same title, the screenplay is written by Samir Nasr and Sonallah Ibrahim.
The film is produced by Soilfilms Media (Germany) and co-produced by ARTE, ZDF, Zone Art Films (Tunisia), Teamwerk.Die Filmproduktion (Germany), Les contes Modernes (France), Wady films (Luxembourg), and Neue Mediopolis (Germany), in addition to the MFG Film Fund Baden-Wurttemberg, Francophonie Film Fund and Sanad film fund. SHARAF was presented during the Venice Film Festival in 2019 as part of the Gap Financing Market of the Venice Production Bridge.
The first edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival will be held in Jeddah, the city which is classified as a world heritage according to UNESCO. The festival will screen a number of the most important and latest Arab and international cinema productions, including prominent titles as Jon Wright’s Cyrano and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter.
In addition to classic selections from salient directors, the festival includes other programs to introduce the audience to new voices from the region and abroad. The festival is a platform for Arab filmmakers and those working in the film industry from all over the world by building bridges of communication, organizing a competition for feature films and another for short films, as well as hosting a range of activities, seminars, and workshops.