After Its Full-house Premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival
Withered Green Attracts Arab Stars and Gains Critical Acclaim at Its Second Screening
After its full-house premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival, the second screening of the film Withered Green was held on Sunday, December 11, 2016 with the presence of many Arab stars and filmmakers along with the film crew: director Mohammed Hammad, DOP Mohammed El Sharqawy, producer Khloloud Saad, and co-producer Mohamed Hefzy. The film is competing within the Muhr Feature competition, the main competition of the festival that is regarded as the most important cinematic event in the Arab world.
After the screening, the audience interacted with Hammad expressing their deep empathy for the film's main character, where the film's director said "Every main character in any film has its own mechanical rhythm, like robots, but for Iman's character, and as we follow her life's accurate details, there is not much happening to her. I tried to focus on her, as a woman, to engage the audience with her character more than with what's going on around her."
Withered Green tells the story of young Iman, a conservative religious person, who takes people's opinions of her into account and shows uptight restriction to all the withering social traditions. However, a shocking discovery prompts her to do away with all these withered traditions that she once clung to.
About the independent films in Egypt, Hammad commented, "The most important thing for independent films in Egypt is the artistic quality and the quantity of films produced. It won't be possible for you to make your voice heard or leave an impact, without mass production. As for the distribution, it should be diverse with all the films getting equal opportunities because at the end of the day, no one can ever determine which film will make a difference and capture the audience's interest."
DOP Mohammed El Sharqawy talked about his experience in the film saying, "We used cameras with lenses that are highly sensitive to light, and we have made quite a few changes in the lighting so that the different feelings experienced by the characters could be well-conveyed. The lenses used belong to an old type of camera lenses from the eighties, a type that Hammad insisted on using although we had many new lenses to use, but we deliberately chose the old ones and not only because of the weak production budget."
On the film's ending, Hammad explained, "I wanted the ending to be open and transparent to keep the viewer wondering about the destiny of the main character, as it's not the film's job to give answers, but to raise questions instead. Withered Green might be a harsh film, but after all, life goes on."
The second screening's list of attendees included Arab stars Ahmed Dawood, Nahed Al Sebai, Shadi Alfons, Khalid Mansour,director Amir Ramses, Palestinian filmmaker Layali Badr, Tunisian producer Dora Bouchoucha, and Tunisian actress Fatma Nasser.
The 13th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) witnessed a full-house screening at the Arab premiere of the film Withered Green on Friday, December 9, 2016 marking the film's sixth stop at international festivals. Aside from the Mediterranean Film Festival of Brussels, Withered Green participated at the Locarno International Film Festival where it landed its world premiere, the Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur (FIFF), and the Stockholm International Film Festival, and it was also the only Arab film to take part in the Singapore International Film Festival.
Written and directed by Mohammed Hammad, Withered Green is produced by Hammad, Kholoud Saad and Mohammed El Sharqawy in collaboration with producer Mohamed Hefzy (Film Clinic). MAD Solutions alongside Film Clinic-Indie Distribution (FCID) are handling the film distribution worldwide.
Mohammed Hammad is an Egyptian director with a number of short films in his repertoire. He wrote, produced, and directed the short film Central (2008). In 2010, he produced and directed the short film Pale Red, which took part in many international festivals, receiving several awards.