Where do you see yourself in five years? A traditional question Mahmoud is asked in a job interview, only to open up deeper questions within him about his life’s purpose.
A former manual worker in a printing press whose job had been rendered invalid due to the growing use of computers, Mahmoud is at a point in his life where he can totally relate to dinosaurs who had gone extinct. He leads a routine life that revolves around the photocopy joint he owns, his pension, always late, and neighbours and customers who, like him, are warm and affectionate.
Nothing clouds except this pretty picture except for the greedy landlord, who harbours no compassion for Mahmoud’s financial difficulties, and is constantly nagging him about being late to pay his rent.
Meanwhile, Mahmoud grapples with developing feelings for his neighbour, Safeya, who in turn grapples with loneliness.
We enter the world of these lonely characters, the features of whose existence are slowly heading towards extinction, and with them we come to realize that one cannot face the danger of extinction alone; but only through banding with fellow humans in the face of this metaphorical ice age that threatens to wipe out humanity even if humans remain.
In their debut feature, director Tamer Ashry and screenwriter Haitham Dabbour maturely steer clear of sentimentalisation and rely instead on empathy, and carry us in the same spirit, to the world these characters inhabit with a subdued visual style that draws you in with careful deliberation.
Director: Tamer Ashry
Producer: Safei Eldin Mahmoud
Screenwriter: Haitham Dabbour
Director of Photography: Mohammed Abdelrauf
Editor: Sameh Anwar
Cast: Mahmoud Hemida, Sherin Reda, Farah Youseif, Ali Tayeb, Ahmed Dash
Sound: Sameh Gamal
Production Company: Red Star for Production and Distribution
Music: Layal Watfa
Tamer Ashry is a director, producer, script-writer, and cinematographer with 13 years of experience working in film and television in Egypt and the Middle East. He is the founder and CEO of BEE Media, one of the leading production houses in Egypt.
Passionate about creating media that will have a social impact, his work has been that addressies issues such as sexual harassment, state violence (in The Morgue), daily life in Palestine (Pictures of Gaza),and the critically-acclaimed (Trials of Spring), documenting women’s fight for peace, screened at many international film festivals. His films have also been broadcast on several international TV channels including PBS, BBC, and Al-Jazeera.
He has collaborated with organizations such as the UN to create award-winning campaigns for human rights, gender equality, and child abuse. Most recently, Ashry was the producer for Nawara, which was awarded at the Dubai Film Festival, and he was assistant director for The Blue Elephant, which was the number-one film in the 2015 Egyptian Box Office. Ashry holds an ‘excellence with honors’ BA from the faculty of Mass Communications. Photocopy is his first fiction feature film.