Mohamed Samir’s DayDream Art Production is developing a slate of documentaries and short films to follow its debut feature, Mohamed Khan’s Factory Girl, which premiered at DIFF last night.
DayDream has two documentaries in the pipeline – Ali Sheikh Khudr’s Cows Farm and Ahmed Rahal’s Pentatonic, both of which are in post-production.
Cows Farm is a creative documentary about a pro-regime farmer in Syria, while Pentatonic is about Nubian music in southern Egypt, which uses the pentatonic (five-tone) scale.
Samir is also gearing up to make his directorial debut with short film 7-10 and documentary The Season, revolving around an orchestra at the Cairo Opera House, which examines perceptions towards the arts in Egypt.
A former editor, Samir established DayDream in 2007 to produce independent films. He raised financing for Factory Girl from seven international funds including Egypt’s Ministry of Culture, Germany’s GIZ institution, Global Film Initiative (GFI), Abu Dhabi’s Sanad, DIFF’s Enjaaz and US-based Women In Film Foundation.
“In the past producers in Egypt have been businessmen, but there’s definitely been a move towards creative producing over the past five years,” Samir said.
Egyptian independent production companies WIKA and Middle West Films co-produced Factory Girl with DayDream. “I didn’t want to partner with any company or organisation who would change the vision of the film,” Samir said.
DayDream also recently co-produced Dutch documentary Ana Ana, which was in competition at IDFA 2013, and Johanna Domke and Marouan Omara’s creative documentary CROP. DayDream’s previous short films include Zafir, which won a special mention at DIFF 2011, Hassan Neama’s Grey and Bahaa El Gamal’s Six.