Egyptian Arab Spring Drama Secures U.K., Irish Distribution

 

LONDON – Egyptian drama Winter of Discontent, directed by Ibrahim El Batout, a documentary maker who covered war zones from Iran/Iraq to Kosovo, before turning to features after being shot twice, has secured distribution in the U.K. and Ireland.

Swipe Films sealed a deal with U.K. indie New Wave Films to take U.K. and Irish rights to the film which unspooled during last month's Venice Film Festival.

Set against the backdrop of the whirlwind protests of Cairo’s Tahrir Square that began on Jan. 25, 2011, Winter of Discontent details the story of an activist Amr (Amr Waked), journalist Farah (Farah Youssef) and state security officer Adel (Salah Alhanafy) and their lives during the state terror of 2009 and the events of 2011 that changed Egypt.

The film is set to enjoy its U.K. premiere during this year's BFI London Film Festival on Oct. 20.

Actor/producer Waked's resume boasts turns in Syriana, House of Saddam and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) and his company Zad Communication and Production produced the film.

"My first day of shooting on the movie was actually in the chaotic mayhem of Tahrir Square, on the day before Mubarek stepped downfrom power," Waked said.

"I am thrilled that the film will now receive a U.K. release and audiences will get to witness first hand the heady, often surreal atmosphere of terror and uncertainty that characterized the last days of [deposed Egyptian president] Mubarek’s rule."

Swipe Films' Frank Mannion said the movie title fits the distributor's own.

“New Wave Films is also an appropriately named company for this film as Winter of Discontent does, in my opinion, represents the crest of an exciting new wave in Arab cinema."

Robert Beeson of New Wave Films added: "After witnessing the rapturous 10 minute standing ovation the film received at its world premiere in Venice, we are thrilled to be giving U.K. audiences the opportunity to see a fresh take on the events of the Arab Spring."

The deal was negotiated by Beeson for New Wave Film and Mannion for international production, sales and distribution banner Swipe Films.

The film is a ZAD Communication & Production in association with AROMA, Ein Shams Productions and Material House.

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