In A Dream You Saw a Way to Survive and You Were Full of Joy
Fall Grants 2019 - Development Stage
Current project status:
Layal, 21, returns home one night after a sexual encounter and joins her mother Salma, who is unaware that her daughter is sexually active. The weeks pass as Layal roams the empty spaces around her house at night before taking a pregnancy test—it’s positive. Avoiding her mother, she spends time with her best friend Dania and the pair go on a fruitless search for the father. Learning of a clandestine abortion clinic in the suburbs of Beirut, they venture there at night. After witnessing the mishandling of the procedure on a patient before her, Layal flees the clinic in fear of her life. She attempts to signal for help from her mother, whose attention is focused on her friend’s daughter, who took her own life when faced with a similar situation to Layal’s.
The man who impregnated Layal returns. Much older than Layal and well off, he pays for her to go to a better-equipped clinic. Layal spends the last days of her pregnancy contemplating motherhood, despite knowing that there is no place for single mothers in Lebanon. Assuming a pseudonym, she goes through with the procedure. After the abortion, Layal walks into her house, and she sits facing her mother, sharing a long silence between them. Layal shifts her gaze towards pictures of her and her mother hung on the wall, before breaking the silence with a mundane conversation.
- Remi Itani
- Remi Itani
- Michael Graf, Sara Bonakdar
About the Director
Remi Itani is a Lebanese film director and producer. Remi started her career as a documentary director for Al Jazeera Documentary Channel. She is a graduate of the London Film School, obtaining an MA Filmmaking with distinction and has participated in numerous writing and directing workshops, including the Torino Next lab and a filmmaking workshop with Werner Herzog in Cuba. Her most recent short ‘Drought’ premiered at TIFF 2020, while the feature documentary ‘A Long Breath’ was selected for IDFA 2019 and El Gouna Film Festival 2020. Remi’s documentary work has been featured on BBC Arabic, Al Arabiya, and Al Jazeera Documentary Channel. In 2020, Remi was awarded the prestigious Boghossian residency.
Production Company Profile
London-based Makadam Films was founded in 2020 by Sara Bonakdar and Michael Graf after working together at the film financier Head Gear Films and international sales agent Bankside Films respectively. Bringing together their international market background and experience in creative development, financing and production, with a love for arthouse cinema, Makadam Films seeks to produce films with an inherent relevance and urgency that use the cinematic form in a daring and surprising way to resonate with audiences worldwide. The company’s slate has naturally formed to consist of mostly female-led projects which shine a light on specific local experiences that can speak to people from anywhere. Apart from Remi Itani’s film, Makadam is currently developing Shalini Adnani’s India-set debut feature ‘Kollam’ together with Film4.