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A Comedian in a Syrian Tragedy

Spring Grants 2016
Current project status: COMPLETED

Rami Farah / Feature Documentary / Syria, Denmark, Qatar, France, Norway / 2019 / 95 min / Original Language: Arabic / Interests: Comedy, War, Immigration, Psychological, Creative Documentary


A gripping chronicle of a revolution and war, experienced by Syrian actor Fares Helou. As one of the most famous film and television personalities in Syria, Fares Helou’s political opinions are not taken lightly by the Assad regime. The highest-ranking officials of the dictatorial regime try to win him over with a dual strategy—first by showing him respect, and then with masked threats. Fearing for his life and his family’s safety, Helou goes into hiding, where he is joined by director Rami Farah and his camera.

When Helou is eventually forced to flee from Syria to France, Rami follows him. However, neither the actor nor the director had a script for this new and unexpected chapter in their lives: exile. A chapter full of questions, disappointments, and alienation, but also of absurdity and cultural confusion that calls for laughter. While they try to find their footing on a new continent, the need to remain faithful to the dream of a free and democratic Syria becomes a matter of integrity—an existential quest. ‘A Comedian in a Syrian Tragedy’ is an intimate observation of the psychological violence and the exiled existence experienced by the director and his favourite actor.


Rami Farah
Rami Farah
Signe Byrge Sorenson

About the Director

Rami Farah is a Syrian filmmaker, actor and performer, born in 1980 and currently based in Paris. He first studied dance in Damascus at the High Institute for Dramatic Arts and has attended many training courses and workshops in contemporary film and dance. His earliest films and videos both use a blend of dance and audiovisual material. 'ZamKan', made in 2004, unfolds as a dialogue between a ceiling fan and a chair in a silent room. It was followed by 'Point', a short art video that was screened in several exhibitions and festivals around the world.

Production Company Profile

Final Cut for Real is a film production company based in Copenhagen. The company was founded in 2009 by producers Signe Byrge Sørensen and Anne Köhncke, editor Janus Billeskov Jansen and director Joshua Oppenheimer. Since then, producers Monica Hellström, Maria Kristensen and Heidi Elise Christensen have joined the company. Dedicated to high-end creative documentaries for the international market, Final Cut for Real’s policy is to be curious and daring, and seek out directors with serious artistic ambitions. With no limits on subject or location, we look for interesting stories, great characters and in-depth social analysis – and try to give films a twist of humour. We cover a wide range of development and production expertise – and work with younger talent as well as established filmmakers to create a productive mixture of experience and new approaches to documentary filmmaking. Our films have won Danish, Nordic and international awards and have been screened at numerous festivals around the world.

Awards and Festival History


"IDFA 2019 (WP)
Amman IFF 2020 (1st edition)"


  • Main Contact

    Lyana Saleh


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