Under This Roof
Spring Grants 2021 - Development Stage
Nadim Asmar’s celebration rally of his presidential candidacy is interrupted when seventy-year-old Samiya bypasses crowds of supporters and stabs him with a kitchen knife. Nadim survives, and Samiya is captured and beaten mercilessly. Samiya’s failed attempt reveals a lifelong struggle in an environment that values power and money over human dignity. Samiya has been searching for her missing husband for over 40 years, believed to be kidnapped by a militia group that was commanded by Nadim himself back in the Lebanese civil war. Her story is intertwined with the stories of a journalist who sacrifices her career to bring out Samiya’s truth, an idealist war photographer suffering from PTSD, an ex-guerrilla soldier on his deathbed riddled with regret, an organization for the families of missing persons on a wild goose chase, a lawyer who breaks the law to bring justice, an activist disillusioned by peaceful protests, and the hopeless prisoners who share Samiya’s cell. Meanwhile, an official police report accuses Samiya of collaborating with foreign intelligence agencies to spark conflict. While Nadim gains support for his candidacy, an opposition begins to rise, inspired by the persona of Samiya as the guiding light. Is change coming? Or is the struggle for dignity forever doomed to fail under this roof?
- Areej Mahmoud
- Areej Mahmoud
- Areej Mahmoud, Davina Atallah
- Production Company
- Studio Humbaba
About the Director
Areej Mahmoud is a Lebanese born filmmaker and artist and the co-founder of Studio Humbaba, a development and production company based in the UAE. Areej wrote and produced a number of short films, including 'The Heir' (2020), part of the Emmy Nominated Shahid Series Beirut-6:07. He was nominated for the BAFTA student awards 2018. His anthology 'Under This Roof' is supported by the Doha Film Institute Development Grant 2021. His video for the International Committee of the Red Cross, 'The Waiting', was awarded the Gold Dubai Lynx prize in 2019 for film direction. Areej is a Fulbright Fellow and holds an MFA in Cinema Directing from Columbia College Chicago and a Bachelor of Graphic Design from the American University of Beirut. He previously held an ECD position at Leo Burnett.