Dynamic filmmaker Hala Lotfy has gained notice for her long-term (post-Arab Spring) interest in questioning notions of female submission in her native Egypt.
Her debut film, Coming Forth by Day, which uses an arthouse aesthetic to tell the story of a mother and daughter caring for their stroke-ridden husband/father, recently earned the top prize at the Oran Arab Film Festival in Algeria.
Sum up your Berlinale film.
I’ll take a sentence from Chekhov: Any idiot can handle a crisis; it's day-to-day living that wears you out.
What was your original trigger?
This film is based on a true story. It is a homage to my late father and all the loved ones whom we lost during the course of time.
Chose an alternative title for your film...
Your favourite scene in the film?
The master scene, where the daughter and the mother take care of the father's bed sores. We did 42 takes over the course of three days.
Why do you make films?
To express things that normal language can't express.
If you didn’t, what would you do?
I think at some point I will write poetry again – I used to write poetry, and I abandoned it to film.
Define a good film.
A film that touches my heart and speaks to me privately.
Worst compliment/best insult?
Your film doesn't look like Egyptian films.
Digital vs. celluloid?
If there was no digital technology, this film wouldn't have existed.
Most irritating trend in current cinema?
Films about the Arab spring.
I’m looking forward to getting acquainted with the festival and finding new strategies to survive extreme cold.