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Egypt: Independent filmmaking ‘coming forth by day’

by Mohamed Beshir.

At some point during the shooting of “Ein Shams” in 2008, Ibrahim El Batout had a camera rigged on a moving car. Without a shooting permit, he was recording tracking shots of Cairo’s streets, to be used as a backdrop for the film credits. As the car crossed Qasr al-Nil Bridge, the camera came face to face with a police checkpoint, framing three policemen vigilantly waving for the car/camera to pull over; as it does, the frame glides slowly to a stop in front of a blinking yellow street sign.

This shot — an example of the spontaneous rewards filmmakers might get from adopting such a guerrilla approach — struck Batout as the perfect closing shot he could have never planned for.

Four years later, the closing scene of “Winter of Discontent” shares the same location. The key difference is that this time, Batout has a permit to halt the flow of traffic, and the budget to have a full film crew execute complicated flying crane movements, achieving high-end shots of actors and actresses taking protesting poses over the bridge.

Read the rest of this article from Egypt Independent.

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