As announced at the 5th edition of Beirut Cinema Platform, Iraqi-Egyptian co-production Take Me to the Cinema is the latest winner of the IDFA Spotlight Award. Directed by Albaqer Jafeer and produced by Rasha Gawdat and Tamer Ashry, this documentary project-to-watch is currently in production, with an upcoming slate of industry activities, consultations, and mentorship on tap at IDFA 2021.
Take Me to the Cinema centers on the meta-cinematic life of former soldier and novelist Nassif Falak who now spends his days in dimly lit cinemas, absorbed in his favorite film Papillon. With a failed escape from prison behind him, the protagonist longs to become an actor—a dream that may or may not be finally realized with the making of Jafeer’s new documentary film.
“This is an ambitious and complex film about dreams, realities, and how cinema becomes an essential part of life and survival for different generations in a country plagued by wars. A personal and poetic project with a very promising visual approach, Take Me to the Cinema is a film I am very much looking forward to seeing,” said IDFA Senior Programmer Laura van Halsema, who awarded the project.
“Winning the IDFA Spotlight Award makes us feel proud and delighted, giving us validation and boosting our confidence toward the project. Receiving the award brings more benefits than just winning—it will open doors to new opportunities, help us meet with cinema professionals, and discuss sales and distribution deals during the next edition of IDFA,” said Jafeer, Gawdat, and Ashry. “At the moment we are waiting to resume working on the final edit for Take Me to the Cinema. Baqer [Jafeer] will join us in Cairo soon to start the work and we are hoping to have a copy ready by the end of July.”
Read more from Beirut Cinema Platform here.