IDFA is the world largest documentary festival and have been held annually every November since 1988 in Amsterdam. The 30th edition of IDFA opens on 15 November in Royal Theatre Carré with the world première of Amal by Egyptian director Mohamed Siam.
The documentary received support from Sørfond earlier this year and is a co-production between Egypt, Lebanon, Germany, France, Denmark, Qatar, and Norway.
Amal is a coming-of-age documentary following an Egyptian teenager during the revolution and its long resonating aftermath until today. Panning through six years, we see how Amal searches for her identity in a country in transition. Amal is fierce and undaunted. But, as a young woman among men, she has to fight to survive and to find her own place in the streets and in all other areas of life.
Ingrid Lill Høgtun, from Barentsfilm AS, was pitched the project during Durban Film Festival in South Africa in 2015, and became the Norwegian co-producer.
“Thanks to the Sørfond, I’ve the pleasure to collaborate with the great group of people who has contributed to the making of Amal, a documentary I have believed strongly in for some years now,” says Ingrid Lill Høgtun,
“Amal is a documentary that I think is particularly relevant and necessary in this historical moment, above all as a counterbalance to the growing polarizing and extremism that takes place today. This close-up of a young girls struggles to find her way in a male dominated society, seen through the pensive eyes of the director, Mohamed Siam, has the potential to inspire hope and belief in the future generations all over the world and make us realize that in the end we all have more in common that one might be led to think. After all, Amal means hope.”
IDFA's artistic director (interim) Barbara Visser: “In its choice of Amal as its opening film, IDFA has been able to combine almost everything it considers important: cinematic depiction of reality, an intimate story, and showcasing work by up-and-coming film talent from all over the world.”
About Mohamed Siam
Mohamed Siam is a director, producer and a cinematographer who has received several international grants and prizes in support of his films. His first film Whose Country has screened in festivals such as Karlovy Vary, Hot Docs and IDFA among others and received international distribution. Siam’s first feature documentary Amal won the Robert Bosch Film Prize, the AfriDocs Prize at Durban FilmMart and Thessaloniki Docs-In-Progress award. Amal opened IDFA 2017 and was selected among their feature length documentary competition. He is currently working on his first feature film, Honey & Blood.