Germany’s Red Balloon Film and Palestine’s Fresco Films have boarded director Ameer Fakher Eldin’s second film “Nothing of Nothing Remains.” The film is part of a trilogy building on his first film, “The Stranger” (pictured), which premiered in Venice and represents Palestine at the Oscars in the International Feature Film category.
“Nothing of Nothing Remains” has received development and script funding from German regional funder Moin Film Fund in Hamburg. Fresco and Red Balloon are now moving into the financing phase for the film.
“It’s part of a trilogy,” Eldin tells Variety, speaking from Berlin. “The first film, ‘The Stranger,’ is about a stranger amongst his own people. The second one is about a stranger amongst strangers. I do not want to give too much away but it’s a story set in Germany. The third one will be set in France. All three films are about the theme of home.”
“The Stranger” shot in the Golan Heights in late 2019. It stars Palestinian actor Ashraf Barhom (“The Kingdom”), as a desperate unlicensed doctor whose life takes a turn for the worst when he encounters a wounded soldier who has returned from the war in Syria.
The producers of “The Stranger” were Tony and Jiries Copti at Fresco Films and Dorothe Beinemeier at Red Balloon Film. Gwen G. Wynne and Carol Ann Shine executive produced for Apricot Films in Los Angeles. The co-producer is Metafora Production with Moayad Dib Fayçal Hassairi, Anas Azrak and Ahmad Zalabieh.
“In ‘The Stranger,’ the first three words are France, Paris, Germany, anywhere else from here,” says Eldin. “It’s all dealing with the theme of home. What does it mean for the human condition? The whole thing is an existential study. I use different cultures because the East is heavenly and religious but petrified by its traditions. The West has granted more freedoms,” he says.
“Nothing of Nothing Remains” will be shot in German and Arabic and will feature major German talent, said Eldin.
The story follows a Syrian author granted asylum in Germany. “It’s an existential crisis, and his life has another purpose which he stumbles upon,” he says. “The human race hasn’t fulfilled its purpose. There is something that makes me want to understand humanity.”
Hamburg-based Red Balloon produces children’s and family entertainment, as well as international arthouse cinema with established European directors, and emerging talents, “mostly coming from the Middle East,” says Beinemeier.
“I am happy that our home fund from Hamburg, Moin Film Fund is supporting Ameer Fakher Eldin’s next film ‘Nothing of Nothing Remains,’ and to continue collaborating with this talented group of people.”
Red Balloon is also on board Fresco Films’ feature “Happy Holidays” by Scandar Copti (“Ajami”). The story revolves around a student whose involvement in a minor accident sets off a chain reaction of events around her that expose the double life of some of her relatives. The film has received support from the Doha Film Fund, and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture.
Other upcoming co-productions with Fresco include “A House in Jerusalem,” which tells the story of a house with a ghost of a Palestinian girl separated from her family in 1948. Muayad Alayan directs. The producers are PalCine Production (Palestine), Heretic (Greece), Red Balloon (Germany), Wellington Films (U.K.), and KeyFilms (Netherlands).
Another Red Balloon co-production is “Hesitation Wound” by Turkish director Selman Nacar. The film tells the story of an idealistic lawyer in a small town. They are also co-producing Nehir Tuna’s debut film “Yurt,” which is supported by German and Turkish development funding and by Moin Film Fund.
Red Balloon has also boarded Bruno Dumont’s next film “L’Empire” as a producer. The project has received support from FFA and CNC. It is set in the wilds of Northern France where a village loner kills a farm girl’s violent father. Red Balloon was co-producers of Dumont’s Cannes competition film “France.”