Life After Siham
While making a documentary about his family’s mourning, Namir, a filmmaker experiencing a mid-life crisis, travels to Cairo, where he is leading a screenwriting workshop. His meeting with hopeful writers in search of creative freedom triggers a process of transformation that allows him to glimpse the intention behind the film he has been unable to finish, which pays tribute to his parents by coming to embrace life to the full.
Les Films d’Ici (France)
Oweda Films (Egypt)
Namir Abdel Messeeh
A year ago, I gave a cat to my children. This filled them with joy. My first thought was that one day, my children will mourn the loss of their pet. When I chose the animal, at the same time, I was choosing to embrace the sadness of separation. It's a package: you can't have joy without the sadness that accompanies it. I have accepted that my kids will experience this suffering, because someday that will make the experience of love that much stronger. I am certain it will be worth it. They will be sad; then will come the recognition of having known their beloved cat. In teaching us to accept that we must say goodbye to our parents, and that we must go beyond the pain of abandonment in order to connect with gratitude and recognition, the path of mourning allows rebirth. This is the story I wish to tell in Life After Siham.
Namir Abdel Messeeh spent his early years in Egypt before moving to France, where he trained as a director at La Fémis. Having made several short films, he went on to tackle intimate subjects with You, Waguih (2005). His feature-length film The Virgin, the Copts and Me (2011) is a humorous exploration of his relationship with his native land and his Coptic family. Selected for the Festival de Cannes, the Berlin International Film Festival and CPH:DOX, among other festivals, it won the Silver Tanit at the Carthage International Film Festival in 2011 and the prize for best documentary at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, before attracting 112,000 spectators in cinemas.
Since 2009, Camille Laemlé has been producing documentary films alongside Serge Lalou. Among her credits are Wang Bing’s Dead Souls (2018), which was an Official Selection at the Festival de Cannes; Hendrick Dusollier’s Last Days in Shibati (2017), which competed for the French Grand Prix at Cinéma du réel; Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire at Sea (2016), which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for César and Academy Awards, and Nocturne (2020), which was presented at the Venice Film Festival; Avi Mograbi’s Between Fences (2016), which was selected for the Berlinale; Maher Abi Samra’s A Maid for Each (2016), also a Berlinale presentation; Ossama Mohammed and Wiam Simav’s Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait (2014), an Official Selection of the Festival de Cannes; Olivier Zabat and Emmanuelle Manck’s Arguments (2019), which was selected for the Locarno Festival; Boris Gerrets’s Lamentations of Judas (2020); and Diana el Jeiroudi’s Republic of Silence.
AFAC - Arab Fund for Arts and Culture
June 2021, Egypt, France
MENA co-producer, distribution, financial partners (festivals, foundations)