Film Independent Sets 30 For 2022 Global Media Makers Residency

Film Independent today announced the names of the 30 filmmakers, from 11 nations, selected to participate in its 2022 Global Media Makers LA Residency, taking place in person this month.

The filmmakers and projects chosen are Sumon Delwar (My Cousin), Ali El Arabi and Ahmed El Zoghby (The Legend of Zeinab and Noah), Prantik Basu (Dengue), Archana Borhade and Mangesh Joshi (Purjey (Parts)), Sriram Raja and Deyali Mukherjee (New Sweetness), Kushal Batunge (They Call Her Mafia), Gaby Zarazir and Michael Zarazir (The Fifteen, w/t), Lamia Chraibi and Hicham Lasri (Meskoun), Anup Poudel and Abinash Bikram Shah (Elephants in the Fog), Rajan Kathet and Sunir Pandey (No Winter Holidays), Fizza Ali Meerza and Nabeel Qureshi (There Was a Boy), Suzannah Mirghani (Cotton Queen), Amjad Abu Alala and Mohamed Kordofani (Goodbye Julia), Lotfi Achour and Anissa Daoud (Red Path), Rashid Abdelhamid and Ismahane Lahmar (A Respectable Family), Sezen Kayhan and Beste Yamalıoğlu (Women with Purple Violets), and Lubna Bagsair and Bader El Ketbi (Banana).

GMM is a mentoring initiative and cultural exchange program that fosters relationships between filmmakers and other industry professionals in the U.S. and abroad. The residency, presented by Film Independent and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, will welcome directors, creative producers, screenwriters and documentary filmmakers from Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Lebanon, Morocco, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey and the UAE, with fellows looking to develop their current projects alongside a team of U.S. mentors, while participating in master classes, industry sessions, field trips, cultural engagement and networking opportunities.

“Now more than ever, building a global community of artists is imperative to creating enriching opportunities for understanding diverse life experiences, and how transformative sharing those stories through ‘moving’ images can be for the world at large,” said María Raquel Bozzi, Senior Director of Education & International Initiatives. “We are all emerging from two years of isolation and trauma, and this is the perfect time to bring together our international Fellows to engage in an open dialogue about film, storytelling, our countries, and our different world views. Film Independent is proud to have contributed to forming a community across 15 countries throughout the five years of the program.”

More than 450 U.S. Mentors have supported the program, including producer Mollye Asher (Nomadland), Mercedes Yolanda Cooper (Vice President of Programming, ARRAY), Eric d’Arbeloff (Co-President and Co-Founder of Roadside Attractions), Elissa Federoff (President of Distribution, NEON), filmmaker Rodrigo Garcia (Nine Lives, Albert Nobbs), Laura Kim (EVP of Film Marketing, Participant), writer-producer Meg LeFauve (Inside Out), producer Alix Madigan (Winter’s Bone), screenwriter Diana Ossana (Brokeback Mountain), producer Alan Poul (The Eddy), filmmaker Justin Simien (Dear White People) and filmmaker Lulu Wang (The Farewell).

Others working with the program include Amman Abassi (Dayveon), Ruth Atkinson (Script Consultant), Wendy Calhoun (Nashville, Prodigal Son), Stephen Mirrione (The Revenant), Anayansi Prado (The Unafraid), Avril Speaks (Jinn), Heather Rae (Frozen River, Tallulah), Brian Walker (CEO, Picture Motion) and Ron Yerxa (Little Miss Sunshine).

GMM residencies have thus far welcomed 110 fellows and led to 17 produced projects, including Ayten Amin’s Souad, Myriam Sassine’s Costa Brava and Darin Salam’s Farha. More information on this year’s GMM filmmakers and their projects, at various stages of development, can be found below.

Bangladesh

Director/Producer: Sumon Delwar
Project Title: My Cousin
Project Type: Documentary
Logline: My Cousin follows how, despite the substantial economic benefits that Bangladeshi migrants generate, a growing percentage of new infections occur among spouses and children of people infected by HIV. It documents the oppression and injustice done to an HIV positive widow, wife of a migrant laborer, and her daughters, for the last five years, ultimately portraying what a woman faces to achieve her goals against society.

Egypt

Producer: Ali El Arabi
Project Title: The Legend of Zeinab and Noah
Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: To delay her mother’s funeral, a teenage girl and her friend steal the body, escape their village, and embark on a road trip tinged with the supernatural.

Writer: Ahmed El Zoghby
Project Title: The Legend of Zeinab and Noah
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: To delay her mother’s funeral, a teenage girl and her friend steal the body, escape their village, and embark on a road trip tinged with the supernatural.

India

Director/Producer/Writer: Prantik Basu
Project Title: Dengue
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: During a sudden summer rain in Calcutta (India), a young migrant worker named Nepal gives refuge to Sunny, a medical student, by offering him his room to stay. While the narrow suburban roads get waterlogged and soon become a breeding ground for mosquitoes that carry a tropical virus, a feverish romance unfolds between the two men.

Writer/Cinematographer/Producer: Archana Borhade
Project Title: Purjey (Parts)
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: A speeding truck dashes into a vintage car and throws it off the precipice. Inside the mangled remains of the car, a teenage couple is found in a compromised position. The girl is dead and the boy slips into a coma, setting off a series of tumultuous events, dramatically altering the fates of the three families involved – the girl’s, the boy’s, and that of the vintage car’s owner.

Writer/Director: Mangesh Joshi
Project Title: Purjey (Parts)
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: A speeding truck dashes into a vintage car and throws it off the precipice. Inside the mangled remains of the car, a teenage couple is found in a compromised position. The girl is dead and the boy slips into a coma, setting off a series of tumultuous events, dramatically altering the fates of the three families involved – girl’s, boy’s, and that of the vintage car’s owner.

Producer: Sriram Raja
Project Title: New Sweetness
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: After losing the love of his life, an introverted boy decides to take control of his life while waiting for his lover to return.

Producer: Deyali Mukherjee
Project Title: New Sweetness
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: After losing the love of his life, an introverted boy decides to take control of his life while waiting for his lover to return.

Producer: Kushal Batunge
Project Title: They Call Her Mafia
Project Type: Documentary Feature

Lebanon

Producer: Gaby Zarazir
Project Title: The Fifteen (Working Title)
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: In 1941, a pious but headstrong Lebanese woman’s attempt to host a lunch for the most important Catholic clergymen in the Middle East is derailed when the French Army invades.

Writer: Michel Zarazir
Project Title: The Fifteen (Working Title)
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: In 1941, a pious but headstrong Lebanese woman’s attempt to host a lunch for the most important Catholic clergymen in the Middle East is derailed when the French Army invades.

Morocco

Producer: Lamia Chraibi
Project Title: Meskoun
Project Type: TV/Webseries
Logline: Desperate, Lotfi wants to smuggle into Europe from Morocco. He ends up drowning with 7 others who are fleeing an Arab country. A month later, he is thrown back into the shore and discovers that he has the souls of the other 7 shipwrecked people inside him. His only solution is to get rid of them and take them each to his own country…

Writer/Director: Hicham Lasri
Project Title: Meskoun
Project Type: TV/Webseries
Logline: Desperate, Lotfi wants to smuggle into Europe from Morocco. He ends up drowning with 7 others who are fleeing an Arab country. A month later, he is thrown back into the shore and discovers that he has the souls of the other 7 shipwrecked people inside him. His only solution is to get rid of them and take them each to his own country…

Nepal

Producer: Anup Poudel
Project Title: Elephants in the Fog
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: When a 25-year-old, vulnerable trans-woman APSARA disappears from her group of five kinnars, the leader PIRATI (40) and JOON (40) must keep aside their differences to find her and save their group, before their Biwaha ritual in ten days.

Writer/Director: Abinash Bikram Shah
Project Title: Elephants in the Fog
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: When a 25-year-old, vulnerable trans-woman APSARA disappears from her group of five kinnars, the leader PIRATI (40) and JOON (40) must keep aside their differences to find her and save their group, before their Biwaha ritual in ten days.

Co-Director/Co-Producer: Rajan Kathet
Project Title: No Winter Holidays
Project Type: Documentary
Logline: Two widows, who were once rivals, spend possibly their last winter together as they guard an empty, snowbound valley.

Co-Director/Co-Producer: Sunir Pandey
Project Title: No Winter Holidays
Project Type: Documentary
Logline: Two widows, who were once rivals, spend possibly their last winter together as they guard an empty, snowbound valley.

Pakistan

Producer: Fizza Ali Meerza
Project Title: There Was a Boy
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: After falling victim to bonded child labor at the age of six, brave young Iqbal Masih embarks on a journey to fight for his freedom.

Writer/Director: Nabeel Qureshi
Project Title: There Was a Boy
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: After falling victim to bonded child labor at the age of six, brave young Iqbal Masih embarks on a journey to fight for his freedom.

Sudan

Writer/Director: Suzannah Mirghani
Project Title: Narrative Feature
Project Type: Cotton Queen
Logline: In a cotton-farming village in Sudan, 15-year-old Nafisa must navigate her family’s cultural expectations: an arranged marriage and the threat of circumcision. She must face her greatest obstacle: her grandmother Al-Sit, the formidable village matriarch and matchmaker.

Producer: Amjad Abu Alala
Project Title: Goodbye Julia
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: Just before the separation of South Sudan, a married, former singer from the north seeks redemption for causing the death of a southern man by hiring his oblivious wife as her maid.

Writer/Director: Mohamed Kordofani
Project Title: Goodbye Julia
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: Just before the separation of South Sudan, a married, former singer from the north seeks redemption for causing the death of a southern man by hiring his oblivious wife as her maid.

Tunisia

Writer/Director: Lotfi Achour (Co-Writer)
Project Title: Red Path
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: While grazing their flock in the mountains, two teenagers are attacked by Jihadists. Accused of being an army informer, 16-year-old Nizar is beheaded and 14-year-old Ashraf is ordered to carry his cousin’s severed head as a gruesome message to the family. Ashraf will carry his terrible burden through a journey both painful and initiatory, during which he will summon all the tools of the imagination and of childhood to try to survive.

Producer: Anissa Daoud
Project Title: Red Path
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: While grazing their flock in the mountains, two teenagers are attacked by Jihadists. Accused of being an army informer, 16-year-old Nizar is beheaded and 14-year-old Ashraf is ordered to carry his cousin’s severed head as a gruesome message to the family. Ashraf will carry his terrible burden through a journey both painful and initiatory, during which he will summon all the tools of the imagination and of childhood to try to survive.

Producer: Rashid Abdelhamid
Project Title: A Respectable Family
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: In a heightened world where morality and respectability rule over society, newlyweds Achraf and Houda find themselves trapped in a prestigious “marriage academy” run by two lying gurus.

Writer/Director: Ismahane Lahmar
Project Title: A Respectable Family
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: In a heightened world where morality and respectability rule over society, newlyweds Achraf and Houda find themselves trapped in a prestigious “marriage academy” run by two lying gurus.

Turkey

Director/Co-Producer: Sezen Kayhan
Project Title: Women with Purple Violets
Project Type: Documentary
Logline: Four soccer-savvy women in their eighties, once the members of the female fan club Women with Purple Violets, meet for the last match of their favorite team Orduspor after 40 years, before the team dissipates, their stadium is torn down and the only affordable public event in the region, mixing men, women and children, disappears.

Co-Producer: Beste Yamalıoğlu
Project Title: Women with Purple Violets
Project Type: Documentary
Logline: Four soccer-savvy women in their eighties, once the members of the female fan club Women with Purple Violets, meet for the last match of their favorite team Orduspor after 40 years, before the team dissipates, their stadium is torn down and the only affordable public event in the region, mixing men, women and children, disappears.

UAE

Writer/Director: Lubna Bagsair
Project Title: Banana
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: An introverted teenage girl comes of age in her small town of Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates.

Producer: Bader El Ketbi
Project Title: Banana
Project Type: Narrative Feature
Logline: An introverted teenage girl comes of age in her small town of Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates.

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