El Bastardiya (Once Upon A Time In Tripoli)
Fall Grants 2022 - Development Stage
Murad, a young jobless engineer, works instead as a salesman. His father, a truck driver for an oil company, is kidnapped by the militants who demand a hefty ransom to be paid within three weeks, or they will kill him. With no means to pay the ransom, Murad enlists the help of his friends Salem and Ali. The trio weighs up their options, ultimately deciding to collect the ransom illegally amidst the surrounding chaos. Their attempts at robbing a bank fail, as do a jewellery store heist that ends up with them losing their loot to neighbourhood gunmen following a chase.
They then kidnap a rich man for ransom without knowing he is a foreign ambassador in Libya. Fearing things are getting out of hand and becoming stuck amid a diplomatic crisis; they release him. Facing mounting pressure, they attempt to turn the tables by kidnapping the father’s kidnappers and demanding a ransom from the militia. When the militia refuses and threatens them, the trio finds themselves in a deeper crisis. With no other options, they resort to smuggling illegal African immigrants to Europe to secure the release of Murad’s father.
- Abdullah Al-Ghaly
- Abdullah Al-Ghaly
- Hala Lotfy
- Production Company
- Hassala Films
About the Director
Abdullah Al-Ghaly is a Libyan writer, editor and director born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1985. He studied filmmaking and animation at Cairo Cinema Institute and graduated with honours in 2007. In 2009, he made his directorial debut with the short experimental 'Times' produced by The Egyptian Film Center. In 2011, he co-founded Hassala films, a collective to support young talented filmmakers to achieve their projects. In 2010 he edited the feature documentary 'Talaat Harb' by the renowned Egyptian director Sayed Said produced by The Egyptian Film Center. In 2011 he began working on his feature documentary (Cairo - Ar-rehebat). In 2014 he edited the feature documentary 'The Egyptian Caricature' by Sherif Al-Moghazy, produced by Al Jazeera documentary channel. In 2016 he collaborated with Hala Lotfy co-writing her second feature 'The Bridge'. In 2017 he co-wrote the TV Drama series 'Haza Al Masaa' by Tamer Mohsen. In 2018 he edited the long documentary 'Yossef Edris' by Sherif Al-Moghazy, produced by Al Jazeera documentary channel. In 2021 he co-wrote the TV Drama series 'Gooma Fares as-Sahra'.