Once Upon a Time at the Café and What We Don’t Know About Mariam, both Egyptian short films, will be screened in the second edition of the Film O’Clock International Festival, which will take place simultaneously in six countries.
The festival will coincide in six countries, namely: Egypt, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and South Africa – between 1 and 6 March.
Each country is represented by two films, for a total of twelve, which are screened in the countries hosting the week-long event and range from fiction to documentary and animated film.
Noha Adel wrote and directed Once Upon a Time in the Café, a 16-minute fiction film.
The film explores the tension that erupts in one of Cairo’s local cafés, where “a group of football fans are watching the match between Egypt and Russia, which will determine qualification for the 2018 World Cup.” According to the film’s summary, “a young invader from the affluent suburb of Zamalek insults the mythical footballer Salah, and all hell breaks loose in the café.”
The film received a Jury Award and an Audience Award at the Zawya Short Films Festival in Cairo 2020.
What We Don’t Know About Mariam is also a 25-minute fiction film written and directed by Morad Mostafa.
According to the IMDb synopsis, the film follows Mariam, who arrives at a public hospital with her husband and daughter, bleeding and suffering from excruciating pain in her abdomen.
The Film O’Clock International Festival followed the innovative concept that emerged as a partnership between countries with the same time zone and a passion for film. The first edition, which took place online in 2021, focused on five countries: Egypt, Lithuania, Romania, Greece, and South Africa.
According to the festival’s organisers, a new country from the same meridian is added each year, and Bulgaria is the second country to join the festival. The festival will add a new meridian in the 2023 edition, gradually developing a global brand of films screened concurrently around the world.