Coming Forth by Day (Al-khoroug lel-nahar)

Metaphoric portrait of Egypt as an inert society that is incapable of change. The focus of this film is not Tahrir Square, but the daily struggles of a mother and daughter, whose day-to-day life offers an equally compelling insight into contemporary Egypt. Lofty is part of a new generation of Arab female filmmakers whose work is currently showing in EYE.

Soad is a young woman who lives with her mother and her gravely ill father in one of the suburbs of Cairo. When she has to look after the household instead of her mother, who has taken on night shifts at a hospital, her own life seems to be put on hold. The bright sunlight and the sounds of the city penetrating the constricted apartment suggest that real life goes on outside the half-closed shutters of the family apartment. Soad is unable to escape, and it remains unclear what it would mean if she did manage to get away.

The Egyptian independent filmmaker Hala Lotfy received the Best Director in the Arab World award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, where she also won the FIPRESCI prize with her debut feature film Coming Forth by Day. Lotfy is co-founder of Hassala Films, a production company set up to support talented young filmmakers with equipment, fundraising and workshops.