Omar Amiralay - Sorrow, Time and Silence
Spring Grants 2021 - Post-Production Stage
Current project status: POST-PRODUCTION
This is not a portrait of the Syrian director Omar Amiralay. This is not a cross-section of the current Syrian society, nor a longitudinal section of the fate of generations through fifty years under the yoke of a single political regime. This is not an intimate and free dialogue between two friends united by the sacred fire of cinema and a passion for freedom. This is not a testimony about a son’s love for his mother or his unwavering belief in justice.
This is a feature-length documentary that aspires to all of these things at once, like the braid of a young Syrian girl. Omar Amiralay was haunted by the Syrian cause, by the search for freedom and justice. He was one of the main opponents of the Al Assad family and passed away in 2011. He was also a great director, a director from the “Avant-Garde’‘. This film shows private moments of Hala Alabdalla’s discussions with Omar before his death, having now a unique testimony of his life. At the same time, it is a broader reflection about love and death, politics and cinema. This is a film, a letter, about the bitter pain of absence.
- Hala Alabdalla
- Hala Alabdalla
- Clémence Crépin Neel & Igor Courtecuisse - moderato (France), Hala Alabdalla - Ramad Films (Syria)
About the Director
Hala Al-Abdallah is a prominent Syrian film producer and director who has lived and worked in France and the Middle East since 1981. She has collaborated with various Arab and French producers. She studied Cinema and Audiovisual at the University of Paris and obtained a degree in Anthropology of the Arab World at the EHESS in Paris. Hala has written, produced and directed many documentary movies. Her most notable film is the award-winning documentary entitled 'I Am the One Who Brings Flowers to Her Grave' (2006), which was the first Syrian movie to be shown and awarded at Venice Film Festival. She has been a member of the jury for film festivals such as the Venice Film Festival, FID Marseille, and Visions du Réel, and has provided training and consulting services in cinematography. In 2017, she created the programme 'Savoir, Voir, Revoir': a training and filmmaking laboratory for young Syrian refugees in Paris, supported by the CNC and Arte. Hala is also the director of the company Ramad Films in Syria (ex. Maram CTV in Lebanon).
Production Company Profile
Moderato is a French-based company, founded in 2019 by Clémence Crépin Neel and Igor Courtecuisse. They did so after they both completed the Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris, a European co-production programme between La fémis in Paris, the Filmakademie in Ludwigsburg and the NFTS in London. Moderato works with international collaborators from a diverse background. They develop bold projects—short and long feature films—from filmmakers with singular visions.
Ramad Films is a film production company based in Damascus, Syria. It was founded in 1974, under the name of Maram CTV in Lebanon, by the Syrian filmmaker trio Omar Amiralay, Mohammed Malas and Ossama Mohammed, joined later by Hala Al-Abdallah. The company produces mainly documentaries but also fiction films and co-produces films mostly with France. Ramad Films has been less active since Omar Amiralay’s disappearance, but Hala Al-Abdallah decided to continue production with the company, primarily out of respect for his memory.