Lebanese filmmaker Bass Breish is gearing up to make his feature debut, Mate, with German production house Filmbucht Filmproduktion.
Set in a Druze village in Mount Lebanon, the film revolves around the relationship between a daughter, who returns to the village after the collapse of her marriage, and her mother, a woman in her seventies who is having an affair with a married man.
“I like films in which the audience doesn’t know exactly where to stand – although the old woman has a right to love, the daughter has a right to be angry. I’ll depict different scenarios reflecting these different points of view,” said Breish.
The title of the film refers to the South American caffeine-infused drink, which is also popular among the Druze in Syria and Lebanon.
Roman Roitman will produce the film through Cologne-based Filmbucht, which produces commercials, documentaries and shorts.
Breish met Roitman while taking part in the Film Prize for International Cooperation programme organised by Germany’s Robert Bosch Stiftung. He won the Film Prize for his short film Free Range, produced by Jacques Colman, Katia Saleh and Keve Zvolenszky, which is playing in the Muhr Shorts competition at DIFF.
Based in Beirut, Breish is also the lead writer on web series Shankaboot, which won an International Digital Emmy in 2011.
He also made short films Both (2007), which starred Ian Hart and screened at Cannes, and Ziu (2013), about the man who helped trigger the Libyan revolution by blowing himself up. Ziu is produced by Ahmad Al Gazali of Libya’s Nuhorizon Media and was filmed in Lebanon.