Middle Eastern projects make a strong showing this year.

The Cannes Film Festival has unveiled the 15 projects due to be presented at the ninth edition of its L’Atelier co-production market running May 17-23.

The selection hails as ever from the four corners of the globe but the Middle East has a particularly strong presence this year.

Egyptian-German filmmaker Philip Rizk and Egyptian-Polish artist Jasmina Metwaly, who are both members of the Cairo-based social media collective Mosireen, will present their feature documentary Out/In the Street, focusing on the lives of labourers during the Egyptian revolution.

Other Middle Eastern projects include Palestinian-Jordanian director Yahya Alabdallah’s Me, Myself and Murdoch, a black comedy about a Palestinian man who wakes up from a coma to discover he can only speak Hebrew. It is Alabdallah’s second film after the award-winning Last Friday. Arab Israeli director Shadi Srour will present Holy Air.

Established Israeli director Amir Manor, who picked up awards for his previous film Epilogue, will be at the L’Atelier which is latest feature The House on Fin Street.

From Africa, New York-based Ethiopian filmmaker Yared Zeleke will present Lamb, the tale of a young boy orphaned by a famine who is sent to live with distant relatives in another part of the country.

American-South African director Teboho Joscha Edkins will attend with Days of Cannibalism, which he has been developing with the support of Boost!, a joint venture between the Rotterdam International Film Festival’s Cinemart and Hubert Bals Fund and the Binger Filmlab. 

L’Atelier, which is overseen by the festival’s Cinefondation body, is aimed at projects with a producer and 20% of the finance in place.

Since its creation in 2005, 126 projects have been presented in total, 83 of which have been completed and 29 of which are in pre-production.

Selected projects

  • Rey, Niles Attalah (Chile)
  • Ciao Ciao, Song Chuan (China)
  • Out/In the Streets, Jasmina Metwaly and Philip Rizk (Egypt)
  • Lamb, Yared Zeleke (Ethiopia)
  • Je ne suis pas un salaud, Emmanuel Finkiel (France)
  • Stage Fright, Yorgos Zois (Greece)
  • Chenu, Manjeet Singh (India)
  • Holy Air, Shady Srour (Israel)
  • The House on Fin Street, Amir Manor (Israel)
  • Sworn Virgin, Laura Bispuri (Italy)
  • Me, Myself and Murdoch, Yahya Al-Abdallah (Palestine, Jordan)
  • Days of Cannibalism, Teboho Joscha Edkins (South Africa)
  • Memories of the Wind, Özcan Alper (Turkey)
  • Road Kill, Yuichi Hibi (US)
  • The Heirs, Jorge Hernández Aldana (Mexico)

The Livre des Projets, giving full details of the projects, will be available online at the beginning of April on www.cinefondation.com.