‘The Tentmakers of Chareh el Khiamiah’ is a feature length documentary presently in post production and requiring a small amount of funding so as to make it the best film it can be. If after watching this teaser, and if you'd like to see the finished film, please consider contributing to the Tip Jar below it would be very much appreciated.
With unprecedented access to a small Egyptian community located in the heart of Old Islamic Cairo. The 'The Tentmakers of Chareh el Khiamiah' spans three turbulent years, from Egypt’s 25th January 2011 revolution through to the June 2014 election of Abdel Fatah el Sisi as President of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
A verite documentary in the style of such filmmakers as Kim Longinotto (Divorce Iranian Style, Shinjuku Boys, and Sisters in Law) and Abbas Kiarostami (Ten, Close Up, and Life and Nothing More), ‘The Tentmakers of Chareh el Khiamiah’ is a dramatic tale of survival set in a small covered market known as Chareh el Khiamiah, the street of the Tentmakers.
Our heroes, four men aged between 35-50 years old, are all talented craftsmen who practice the detailed art form of tentmaking, a uniquely Egyptian craft dating back to the Pharaohs which involves the hand-stitching of the interiors of tents, or in its more modern – and tourist-friendly – incarnation, wall-hangings and cushion covers.
After 18 days of unrest in early 2011, amidst chants for “Bread, Freedom and Justice”, Hosam, his brother Ekramy, and stitchers Hany and Tarek all find themselves thrown into an unknown and unpredictable world as President Mubarak’s 40 year rule is brought to an end.
However, rejoicing and celebrations soon turn to conflict and our small street, a microcosm of Egyptian society, is infiltrated by never-ending propaganda, rumors and paranoia which constantly blares from television sets in each and every shop.
Survival is no longer about the need of the market as a whole, but about each individual. Soon our heroes find themselves pitted against each other, as shops are burnt to the ground, traditions walked away from and poverty becomes more and more real.
With the rise of Egypt’s first freely elected President, Mohamed Morsi, his downfall downfall and the ultimate election of Abdel Fatah el Sisi as Egypt’s most recent saviour, each of our characters find themselves personally challenged by the circumstances facing the nation.
Ultimately our heroes become convinced that a return to the past with the election of the former military leader Sisi, will be the only way to return to prosperity, regardless of the threat to liberty and freedom – once the core aims of the 2011 revolution.