Fall Grants 2018
Current project status: DEVELOPMENT
November 2010. The Tunisian national anthem rings throughout the Thala High School courtyard. The flag is raised, and the principal announces that Hicham, a former student, has died under “unfortunate” circumstances—running from the police, he had a fatal accident. Five friends listen in silence to the principal’s half-hearted comments. In the middle sits Hamdi, Hicham’s younger brother. Hamdi is distraught. His older brother would never try to escape a situation in which their father, a police commissioner in Thala, could have easily intervened. He wants the truth. But how can you find it in a country that specializes in hiding it? With all the fury and energy of adolescence, Hamdi embarks on this impossible quest, helped by his childhood friends—Raoua the intellectual, Fadi the strategist, Noor the audacious, and Sami the resourceful. Following Hicham’s footsteps, the band leaves Thala to venture further and further from home. They discover the world of cyber activists, and their path ends up crossing that of the historical moment unveiling before them—Bouazizi’s self-immolation, Sidi Bouzid’s uprising, the police’s murderous backlash, and Thala’s own wound—a massacre perpetrated by their own police force. The series ends with a historical scene where the gang runs to catch up with the thousands of protesters on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis, on January 13th, 2011.
- Erige Sehiri
- Erige Sehiri, Cécile Allegra
- Philippe Coeytaux
About the Director
Erige Sehiri is a director and producer based in Tunis. In 2018, she made her first feature-length documentary film about Tunisian railway workers, reflecting their daily struggle against the failures of the national railways—'La Voie Normale - Railway Men'—presented at Visions du Réel 2018, IDFA 2018 and received a mention by the jury at CINEMED. Erige Sehiri is also the producer and manager of the production company Henia, where she develops author-driven films such as Hamza Ouni’s 2020 film, 'The Disqualified'. In addition, she has recently co-founded Rawiyat-Sisters in Film, a collective of women filmmakers from the Arab world and its diaspora.
Production Company Profile
Since 2005, Akka Films has dedicated itself to art-house documentaries, fiction films and television programs. Based in Geneva, at the crossroads of Europe, we favour works of international and universal scope, although strongly anchored and incarnated in their regions of origin: powerful, contemporary and singular films carried by an affirmed vision of their authors. This approach naturally leads us to co-produce most of our projects to offer them the widest resonance. Akka Films production board gathers founder and filmmaker Nicolas Wadimoff, and senior producers Philippe Coeytaux and Palmyre Badinier.