Egyptian filmmaker Wael Omar is developing a sequel to his documentary, In Search Of Oil And Sand, which captured the lives of Egypt’s elite at the moment of Gamel Abdel Nasser’s coup d’état in 1952, entitled Madness At Noon.
The sequel will follow the fate of the elite after Nasser’s rise to power, through an international incident in which the leader ordered the arrest of France’s entire diplomatic Corp on spying charges alongside members of the Egyptian elite who had remained in the country.
“It captures the moment that the coup d’état transforms into a revolution – and the witch hunt against the vestiges of the old regime really begins,” said Omar, who produces under the Middle West Films (MWF) banner.
In Search Of Oil And Sand, which premiered in the Abu Dhabi Film Festival last year, is due to air on channels affiliated to US public broadcaster PBS early next year and has also just been acquired by Swedish public broadcaster SVT.
Madness At Noon is among a trio of documentaries currently in production at MWF.
Omar is still working on his previously announced The Day I Stop Chanting Is The Day I’ll Be Dead about the 2012 Port Said soccer stadium massacre in which 74 young men died in fighting between local and Cairo-based fans.
The company has also recently completed Le Petit Chat, capturing life in Egypt in the 1960s and 1970s through a popular cover band. The documentary follows the group’s fortunes culminating in a reunion concert in 2010.
“In the 1960s when Egypt became a completely socialised state, record stores were and imports were very limited. The only way to listen to Western music was through cover bands,” explained Omar.
MWF is also bumping up its fiction feature activities, building on it roles as co-producer on Villa 69 and Factory Girl this year.
The company is due to shoot mockumentary Kiss Me Not, exploring the rise of conservatism in Egyptian cinema through a fictional onscreen seductress who refuses kiss on screen after she discovers religion.
“It’s about the rise and fall of the kiss in Egyptian cinema,” said Omar. “I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to spoil it.”