EXCLUSIVE: Film Clinic’s Hefzy also co-producing Mohamed Khan’s new film Before the Summer Crowds.

Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy and director Ahmad Abdalla are reuniting for an adaptation of Lebanese writer Rabee Jaber’s 1995 novel Black Tea.

“Set mostly in Beirut, the story follows a young man during one night as he journeys through various incidents of his past as he prepares to reconnect with friends he had left behind,” said Hefzy.

He and Abdalla will launch the project at the Crossroads Co-production forum, taking place Nov 4-8 during the Thessaloniki International Film Festival.

“It’s the first time we’ll present it,” said Hefzy, who is at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF) this year as one of the creative producers on Emirati Ali Mostafa’s second feature From A to B.

Hefzy is initially seeking Lebanese and possibly French partners for the film.

Lebanese writer Jaber won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2012, also known as the Arabic Booker Prize, for his novel The Druze of Belgrade. His 2009 novel America was the basis for American-Palestinian filmmaker Cherien Dabis’ first feature Amreeka.

Hefzy and Abdalla previously worked together on Rags and Tatters and Microphone, set against the backdrop of Alexandria’s underground hip-hop scene and capturing the mood in the city just prior to the Arab Spring.

More projects

Other projects on the slate of Hefzy’s Cairo-based Film Clinic production company include Mohamed Khan’s next film Before the Summer Crowds (Abl Zahmet El Seif), which is due to start shooting at the beginning of November. 

The ensemble portrait of the Egyptian bourgeoisie revolves around a doctor and his wife who head to their second home on Egypt’s northern coast in the spring before the busy months of the summer.

Once there, their lives collide with a divorced single mother and her actor lover. Sexual tensions boil over and relationships hit the buffers as their lives intertwine.

Film Clinic is co-producing the film with The Producers and director-producer Omar Wael’s Middle West Films (MWF), which previously worked with Khan on Factory Girl. Mad Solutions is handling distribution.

Hefzy is also in the final stages of financing Sherif El Bendary’s Two Rooms And A Parlour, to which veteran Egyptian actor Mahmoud Abdel Azziz is attached to star. 

Based on a novel by Egyptian writer Ibrahim Aslan, it follows a reclusive retiree who is forced to leave his flat following the death of his wife.  

Hefzy signed a co-production deal with French producer Marianne Lère of Joparige Films at Cannes this year. The plan is to shoot early in 2015.

Mohamed Diab’s previously announced political thriller Clash! is also prompting interest with Hefzy reporting a potential European co-production and sales deal in the works.

Set against the backdrop of the demonstrations which broke out at the end of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s reign, it revolves around two groups of opposing protestors who find themselves holed up in the same police van as violence breaks out all around them.

It marks Diab’s second feature after his powerful Cairo 678 exploring sexual harassment on a bus.