An old man living his normal life in Cairo is struck by breaking news from the corrupt media that terrorists are destroying his country. He believes it, until he discovers who the terrorists are.
Trapped was an official selection of NFFTY 2014 and screened as a part of the Powerful Grit category.
Film of the Week is presented by Volvo Cars of North America.
About the directors:
(Featured right to left: Omar Rashed, Hatem Tag, Fouad Mohamed Fouad)
Omar Rashed and Hatem Tag are filmmakers, who both studied things not related to film, and at some point grew a passion for film, and just decided to go for it. They’ve been filmmakers for four years now, having both started with small PSA projects and worked their way up to short films and commercials. They’re first co-directing was on the Trapped production. Omar and Hatem are still chasing after their dreams even if it means traveling all over the world to find themselves and reach them.
NFFTY spoke with Omar about the impact of making Trapped.
Q: What inspired you to tell such a powerful story?
The story was based on true events, basically a situation that happens almost on a weekly basis, people just march to the streets protesting against unjust laws or unjust situations they have experienced. They march in the streets asking for their rights, and when that happens the media always portrays them as a terrorist, thugs, criminals. The list can never actually end.
Q: What was the experience like making the film, knowing all the political un-rest that has been going on in Egypt?
This film’s experience was actually new for all of us. It was for the first time that this amount of people gathered to do one project where they usually worked separately before. The situation and the amount unjust and unfair situation we were experiencing made us team up to work on one project together just to deliver that exact and similar message.
Q: Trapped went viral in your country and surrounding areas after it was released. What were the responses like?
The responses were huge, I mean the film reached around a million views. It was downloaded from our channel and re-uploaded to other channels, also reaching a huge amount of views. Different political parties renamed it each for their own cause and purpose, each assuming that we were taking a certain political view. After that, we were called to the DA’s office because the fuss that was made about this film made the government unhappy and unsettled. We were almost sent to prison, but thanks God, that didn’t end up happening.
Q: Do you plan to continue to share messages like this with the world through your films? Any other projects in the works with that in mind?
Of course, that’s the whole point of wanting to be a filmmaker from the first place. To tell the world stories that they never heard about before, and actually do need to know about. Even if it puts me in danger but at the end of the day it might do a positive effect to people, or let the world know a new story. I’ll definitely go all the way till I finish it. Right now I’m working on a documentary about the best Beat Boxer in Egypt and his travels to the US, how he had a whole different experience coming here, and what he did to blend in with other artists and show of his skills.
Q: How has NFFTY helped you grow as a filmmaker over the years?
I loved how NFFTY gave me a chance to meet people my age from different parts of the world. Just seeing how much people my age around the world can accomplish and achieve, the new stories & techniques I saw, the friends I made, and industry professionals I had a chance to get to meet. Everything was just amazing.