A Brave Collaborative Feature on 6 Skillfully Intertwined Stories
The Mice Room Gets Critical Acclaim and Selected among the Most Important Films in 2013
Egyptian collaborative feature, The Mice Room, earned massive acclaim by film critics in several media platforms after the film's world premiere last month at the 10th Dubai international Film Festival within the framework of Muhr Arab Feature competition.
The film critics highlighted the ability of the six young and aspiring filmmakers to write and direct their production debut, which was described as a very meaningful film. They also praised their ability to reflect the actual social lives of six different characters living in Alexandria.
Hollywood Reporter writer, Deborah Young praised the filmmakers' perseverance and determination on taking the film to the light after three years of hard work, challenging Egypt's political unrest. The film's main characters appeared as if they were connected somehow, proving the proficiency and great talent of the makers behind the camera. Film Editor Islam Kamal did a marvelous job by doing the entire editing of the film by himself. Young described The Mice Room as "six stories intertwined skillfully."
In a poll ran by Al Sharq Alawsat newspaper for the best films in 2013 taken by Arab film critics, Film Critic Mohamed Reda described The Mice Room as one of the best five Egyptian films in 2013, and it came among the choices of Lebanese Critic Nadim Gargoura and his Egyptian counterpart Tarek El-Shenawy.
Film Critic Magdy El Tayeb wrote about The Mice Room in Al Jarida Kuwaiti newspaper saying: "truth, honesty, and warmth are flowing throughout the film, making the audience feel that they are somehow connected to the characters, sympathize with them, and feel for them as if they are part of their family. One of the film's strong points is that the makers chose only amateur unknown actors instead of famous celebrities adding a realistic flavor and credit to the film and its characters." Then he added "the effort exerted to break all classical artistic theories by the six directors is obvious, they rebelled against all conventional rules; especially rules related to cinematography (Mohamed El Hadidy, Islam Kamal, and Mayye Zayed) and music (Anna Drubich). All due respect to Islam Kamal who took the burden of the entire editing process by himself and made a great and successful work, making the film one complete unit, although it was shot in the form of several short films. The film was entirely harmonious that you won't feel that it was directed by six directors!"
Ziad Al Khozai wrote about The Mice Room in As-Safir Lebanese newspaper and described it as "a brave and well balanced collective film." He stated that "it's a cinematic collective story that is far from nonsensicality. The story borrowed the concept of fear putting it as a dramatic front for six intertwined stories executed in a very intelligent way, all forming one picture that can be seen from different perspectives discussing the concepts of exclusion, death, inability, isolation, and alienation."
Film Critic Tarek El-Shenawy wrote in his daily column in Al-Tahrir, Egyptian newspaper that The Mice Room is a promising work that assured him on the future of the cinema. He made a special mention of Editor Islam Kamal describing him as "the real hero who moved with high psychological, visual, and dramatic senses between the six stories that fall under the umbrella of the fear from the future."
The official website of Art Dubai selected The Mice Room on the list of the best films that combine cinema with artistic vision; this list includes 15 of the entries participated in the 10th Dubai International Film Festival that has put the recommendations for Art Dubai.
The Mice Room is collaborative feature co-written by six young and aspiring filmmakers namely; Ahmed Magdy Morsy, Mohamad El Hadidi, Mohamed Zedan, Mayye Zayed, Nermeen Salem, and Hend Bakr, starring Hanan Youssef, Zeyad Salem, Nihand Yahia, Kamal Ismail, Noura Saafan and the talented child Malak Magdy.
The Mice Room tracks six intertwined stories of different characters who live in Alexandria struggling with their fears; Amr visits his father on his death bed, trying to catch up on lost time, Moussa spends his day struggling to cross a street, Dahlia is lost in her worries about her wedding day, a young girl watches as her grandmother grows increasingly lifeless, Rawya, after her husband's death, is unable to sleep early, discovering an exciting life at night, and Maha is set to leave the country and everything she knows behind, questioning the changes that happened or might happen in her life. All of them share the same creepy feelings in the same city but never meet.
The Mice Room is an independent collaborative feature which is produced by Rufy's in co-production with Fig Leaf Studios. The film was also supported by Dubai International Film Festival's Enjaaz. It was first written three years ago as seven segments, then was shot as six separate segments coming all together at the editing room in post-production. Since it is an almost zero budget independent feature, all cast and crew were volunteers and the six filmmakers themselves worked behind cameras in each other's segments.