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Film Clinic Releases 'Rags and Tatters' for Only One Week

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by Sydney Levine
November 21, 2013 11:59 AM
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Ahmed Abdallah's 'Rags and Tatters'

Rags and Tatters which I saw in Toronto, at first seemed like a documentary, and it does have doc footage, but it is a circular story that ends where it began but with much more understanding of the chaotic events in Cairo. Really worth watching.

Film Clinic, held the premiere of its new production Rags and Tatters on Monday, November 18th, 2013, at Nile City cinemas in Cairo, with the presence of the film's cast and filmmakers along with several celebrities, critics, and intellectuals who were keen on watching this distinctive experience.  Among the celebrities and filmmakers who attended the premiere were: Producer and Scriptwriter Mohamed Hefzy, founder of Film Clinic, Director Ahmed Abdallah, Asser Yassin and Dorra Zarrouk.

Mohamed Hefzy stated that the reason behind launching the film in theaters for only one limited week is that the film market is currently in a recovery phase after ending the curfew that has been imposed for months. He added, "the film is of a special nature and some believe that it unfolds an untraditional narrative experience. I personally think that the audience will enjoy watching the film and maybe having it released for a limited period of time will help draw the attention of the audience who would come to watch it. Of course we wanted to release the film for a longer period in theaters, however the on-going conditions make that impossible."

Ahmed Abdallah's feature Rags and Tatters' release in seven Egyptian film theaters across Cairo and Alexandria by Film Clinic for one week only from November 20th, 2013, makes it the first film in the history of Egyptian cinema where the production house releases its own production for only one week.

The film won the Golden Antigone Prize for the Best Narrative Feature at the 35th Cinemed International Mediterranean Film Festival of Montpellierin France, which has recently closed on November 2nd, 2013. The film took part at the Narrative Features Competition within the 7th Abu Dhabi Film Festival which has recently closed. Recently, Ahmed Abdallah's Microphone placed the 95th among the 100 Most Important Arab Films listed in Cinema of Passion: Dubai International Film Festival. Released by Dubai International Film Festival and supported by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (DCAA), the book is considered the first reference book of its kind in the Arab world.

Written and directed by Ahmed Abdallah, the film unfolds a new experience in Egyptian cinema as the story builds up with minimal dialogue between the characters based on visual narration within a balanced equation of documentation and narration. The film tells the story of a prison inmate who escapes from jail following the incidents that took place on January 28th, 2011, when police forces were withdrawn from the streets and chaos prevailed. The film stars Asser Yassin who plays the leading role of the fugitive inmate who moves in a number of poor alienated Egyptian districts.

Rags and Tatters has recently participated in the BFI London Film Festival, the only Arab film competing in the official competition of the prestigious film event this year, and had its world premiere in Toronto International Film Festival, one of the world's most prestigious film events.

Rags and Tatters is produced by Mohamed Hefzy's Film Clinic in co-production with Mashrou', Ahmed Abdallah's new production house formed with Asser Yassin, and Producer and Writer Amr Shama, scriptwriter of After the Battle film. Shot on location in Mansheyet Nasser and Old Cairo, Rags and Tatters also stars Amr Abed, Mohamed Mamdouh, Seif Al Aswani, Yara Gobran and Latifa Fahmi.

Ahmed Abdallah started his career as a film editor in several films, the most distinctive of which is Ain Shams. In 2010, he presented his directorial debut Heliopolis, which tells the story of a group of people living in Heliopolis. Abdallah also directed Microphone, which is about independent music productions and underground art scene in the city of Alexandria, Egypt. Starring Khaled Abul Naga, Hani Adel, and Youssra AlLouzi, the film premiered in Egypt in January 26th, 2011, coinciding with the second day of the revolution at that time. Both of the two films were screened in previous installments of the Toronto International Film Festival.

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