Mahmoud Lotfy

Seif Tagreeby / Experimental Summer
2016

For further information please download the respective Forum Expanded sheet (PDF).

Seif Tagreeby follows Mahmoud and Zeinab in their search for the original version of the first Egyptian independent film of the same name produced in the 1980s. All copies of the film were either destroyed or confiscated by the Government Film Agency, an institute that governed the production and distribution of film at the time. In response, Egyptian filmmakers created their own versions of the film, all under the name Seif Tagreeby. The importance of Seif Tagreeby comes not only from being the first independently produced film, but also because of its alternative and guerilla distribution. To fight the Government Film Agency the filmmakers screened the film in cafés, shop windows, and video clubs without state permits. In their search the two friends find that 23 different versions existed, all of them shot in winter and following a girl listening to answering machine messages. Despite their journey they cannot confirm that the original version was shot in winter, but it can be assured it was produced before the invention of the answering machine. In continuation of the legacy Mahmoud and Zeinab are making their version of Seif Tagreeby.

Mahmoud Lotfy was born in 1990 in Cairo, Egypt, where he is based as an independent director. He is one of the founders of Otaku Digital Film Productions and participated in the making of several independent films. Seif Tagreeby is his first feature fiction film, which took over three years to shoot.

Production: Otaku Digital Film, Kairo
Screenplay: Mahmoud Lotfy
Camera: Mahmoud Lotfy
Cast: Zainab Magdy, Essam Esmail, Ahmed Magdy, Mahmoud Eissa

Running time: 69 min
Language: Arabic

Photo: © Mahmoud Lotfy