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Masharawi wraps West Bank-set Palestine Stereo

Palestinian director Rashid Masharawi has wrapped his latest feature Palestine Stereo and is looking for post-production finance, according to Tunisian producer Habib Attia of Cinetelefilms.

“We’re looking for the last 25% of budget to complete post-production,” said Tunis-based Attia, who is producing the picture alongside Masharawi’s Ramallah-based CinePal Films. “The idea is to put a rough-cut together and then show it to post-production funds.”

The tale of two West Bank brothers trying to raise the money to emigrate to Canada following a deadly Israeli raid on their refugee camp was shot in and around Ramallah over the summer.

Budgeted at $1.5m, Palestine Stereo is one of the most expensive Palestinian pictures ever made.

Attia explains putting the finance together has proved no easy feat. To date, he and Masharawi have tapped more than half a dozen sources of finance.

“It’s extremely difficult to raise the entire budget for a feature just out of Tunisia, especially for a foreign film. We do what I call ‘mosaic financing’, piecing together as many bits of finance as possible,” said Attia, who also co-produced Masharawi’s previous film Leila’s Birthday.

Backers to date include Norway’s Sorfund, Oslo-based producers Ape & Bjorn, France’s new World Cinema Fund, Paris-based Mille et Une productions, the Dubai Film Market’s Enjaaz, Italy’s Produzione Straordinaria, the Gaza Media Center and the Ramallah-based Palestinian Investment Fund.

Both Attia and Masharawi are at the festival. Masharawi’s Land Of The Story and Hinde Boujamaa’s Cinetelefilms-produced It Was Better Tomorrow are both competing in the Muhr Arab documentary section.

Attia is also commencing financing of Tunisian director Fares Naana’s A Full Moon Night – revolving around the disintegration of a marriage against the backdrop of contemporary Tunisia - at the Dubai Film Connection.

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