EXCLUSIVE: Leading Egyptian independent production company Film Clinic is gearing up for the shoot of The Inevitable Journey Of Finding The Wedding Dress by Jaylan Auf.
Yasmin Raeis (Looking for Oum Kulthum) and newcomer Asma Galal co-star as a bride-to-be and her best friend who embark on a mad dash across Cairo in search of a wedding dress after a mishap with the original gown on the eve of the ceremony.
“It’s a social drama about two best friends from a low-income neighborhood,” says Film Clinic founder and head Mohamed Hefzy. “The city is very much part of the story and a character in the film.”
Auf previously worked as assistant director on Egyptian features such as Excuse My French, Décor and The Cat Mouse, while her short film Turning Ten played in Competition at the Clermont Ferrand International Short Film Festival in 2019.
“We’ve been trying to get this film off the ground for more than two years. It was just a question of securing the cast. We’re shooting in three weeks in Cairo and launching it sometime next year,” says Hefzy.
The company has a track record of spotting and producing or co-producing the early works of emerging Egyptian talents who then go on to make their mark at home and internationally.
In recent years, Film Clinic has been at Cannes with Clash, the second film of Marvel’s Moon Knight director Mohamed Diab; Abu Bakr Shawky’s Yomeddine and Omar El Zohairy’s Feathers.
The company is at the festival this year as MENA distributor of Kaouther Ben Hania’s Palme d’Or contender Four Daughters as well as co-producer on Morad Mostafa’s Cannes Critics’ Week short I Promise You Paradise, which is lead produced by rising Egyptian producer Sawsan Yusuf and France’s Margaux Lorier.
Film Clinic has also boarded Mostafa’s upcoming first feature Aisha Can’t Fly Anymore as a producer alongside Yusuf. The film, which was developed with the support of the residency program of Cannes Cinefondation, is due to shoot next year.
Previously announced features on its slate that are nearing completion include Yomeddine director Shawky’s second feature, the Saudi-shot “camel western” Hajjan, about a young boy with a special bond with his camel who sets off on a journey across the desert.
The company is aiming to launch the film at a fall festival.
“Hajjan was a huge production. It took a lot of time and prep and the shooting period was quite long. It wrapped at the end of December,” says Hefzy
The company is also finishing post-production on Saudi Arabian Barakah Meets Barakah actress Fatima Al-Banawi’s directorial debut Basma; Omar Hilal’s dramedy Voy! Voy! Voy! (which is due out in MENA theatres in August) and Cairo Mecca, starring Egyptian star Mona Zaki.
“We’ve got a busy period coming up in terms of releases and production,” says Hefzy.