“A Lock of Hair” highlights need for alternative filmmaking as costs rise
“A Lock of Hair” movie wallpaper - Photo courtesy of facebook.com/mohamed.ibrahim

CAIRO: A young girl sits alone in a public garden reading the Quran, when another woman comes to sit in front of her. Minutes later, the young girl closes the Quran, and pulls a lock of her hair out of her veil, and begins talking to it.

The other woman begins to scold her, but she stops as she hears the girl talking to what is revealed to be her last remaining lock of hair, after chemotherapy resulted in the loss of her remaining hair.

The short film “A Lock of Hair,” (three minutes) directed by Mohamed Ibrahim, reflects the feelings of a cancer patient, while also exploring our preconceptions of others that we form without knowledge of their personal conditions.

Ibrahim told The Cairo Post on Monday that he shot the film using only a mobile phone camera, due to the high costs of renting camera equipment. Other directors like to use mobile phone cameras, particularly when confronted with the sudden opportunity to film a scene spontaneously, that cannot be replicated, according to Ibrahim.

Mobile film has surfaced as an alternative means of production for amateur filmmakers who lack the resources for basic film production tools, but nonetheless maintain their passion for the form.

Several mobile film festivals have cropped up across the country in recent years, in cultural spaces such as Rawabet Theater in the Townhouse Gallery and D-Caf, in downtown Cairo.

“Egypt has no suitable market for short films, and cinemas only welcome commercial films,” Ibrahim continued, explaining the reasons behind the poor production of short films.

He assured that most short filmmakers prefer to screen their works on YouTube, to deliver their talents and messages to the audience.

“A Lock of Hair” is written by Aziza Ali, and performed by Nour al-Zayat, Mohamed Bakery and Nagwa Fouad. Ibrahim is currently studying law, and works as a director’s assistant on the side. This is his first film.

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