Hassala Films (‘hassala’ means money box in Arabic) is an independent production house that was formed by a group of independent artists who share the same ideas and thoughts about working in low budget forms to produce long debut projects (fiction and documentary) for talented young artists who seek for a challenge in what they want to say and take the maximum risk regarding their artistic tools.
In the Egyptian mainstream film market, you need to work for ten years as an assistant director before anyone can recognize you as a director. It is enough time to be enrolled in the scale they tolerate, the scale that gives you no choices but to be a follower, to execute not to invent, to make a commercial product rather than a personal piece of work.
Hassala works to save the time wasted in enrollment and stereotyping young talents from the repeated images and ideas during the time they spend in polishing commercials that have no impact on society and care for nothing but profit.
For three years we were working on the long feature Coming Forth by Day, directed and produced by Hala Lotfy. We used a low budget and we depended on alternative ways of production. This experience taught us the ins and outs of the emerging independent filmmaking scene in Egypt.
We set up Hassala Films to support young artists achieve their dream projects by offering them free information, cameras, edit suits, actors and extras, locations and efficient independent crew members who can work in deferment or low rate of salaries. We are forming a database that can serve independent artists to keep their independence as much as they can, and to own their own projects by co-producing it with the team collectively as we are offering fund raising consultations as well. We have two HD professional cameras and an edit suit that we offer for free (until the project finishes and grosses back).
Now Hassala is involved in the production of four independent projects: three long debut documentaries and one long feature debut (now in post production). Yet these projects are owned by their teams and not by Hassala.
We are also organizing a filmmaking training workshop in Asyut (in upper Egypt) with the collaboration of ”Ahmad Bahaa Aldin cultural center” to promote our way of independent production in remote communities that can enlarge the scale of artists engaged with their societies. In October 2011, Hassala received Al-Mawred Al-thakafy fund, Abbara for supporting the emerging cultural institutions in the Arab world. In June 2012 Hassala became a member of the Euromed distributers network and participated in the EuroMed Audiovisual Program III, witch took place at the Dead Sea, Jordan.