The feature film, Iron Copper Batteries, directed by the director of the Medal of Honor, opened the 19th edition of the Giornati degli Autori competition, which is held in parallel with the 79th Venice International Film Festival.
One of the highlights of what was written on international websites immediately after the film was shown was what Matthew Joseph Jenner wrote in ICS “a well-made film whose director offers something extraordinary as he delves deeply into the lives of these characters who explore their surroundings and realize facts about rejection from society.” Fabien Lemercier wrote in Senorpa website “a film reminiscent of the work of Aki Kaurisemki and Elia Suleiman.”
The screening was held on Wednesday evening, in the presence of director Wissam Sharaf, film stars Clara Couture, Ziad Galad, Darina El Gendy and Josica Chandra, producers Katia Khazak and Charlotte Vincent, director of photography Martin Rhett, editor Clemence Diar, interior designer Tom Mattai, and assistant directors Anais Versini, Sandy Galan Perez and Gina Daou. The film has two other screenings, on Friday, September 2 at 4:30 p.m. for the general audience, and on Wednesday, September 7 at 11:30 a.m. for credit card holders.
The film revolves around Ahmad, a Syrian refugee and war survivor, who roams the streets of Beirut in search of metal objects to be recycled, and thinks that he will find love with Mahdia, a girl of Ethiopian origin, but love in this city seems impossible; Will these two romantic refugees find the way to freedom; While Ahmed is affected by a mysterious disease that slowly turns his body into metal?
The Iron Copper Batteries project received support from the National Institute of Cinema and Motion (CNC), the Corsica region of the Doha Film Institute, the Italian Ministry of Culture, the Francophone Film Fund and MEDIA. The project also won a marketing grant from the Red Sea International Film Festival, the Institut Français in Tunis from the Carthage Professional Platform within the Carthage Film Festival, the Arte Award at the Busan Film Festival, and the National Institute of Cinema and Motion Picture Award at the Dubai Film Connection.
The film is directed by Wissam Sharaf, co-written by Hala Dabaji and Mariette Desser, starring Clara Couture, Ziad Galad, Rafaat Tarabay and Darina El-Gendy, and produced by Né à Beyrouth Films, Aurora Films and Intramovies, which also handles international sales and distribution, and in France it is distributed by JHR Films, while MAD Solutions Film in the Arab world.
Medal of Honor works
Wissam of Honor is a Lebanese-French director, photographer and editor. He began working in the French-German network ARTE in 1998 as a photographer, news editor and journalist. He has since covered major conflict areas ranging from Lebanon and the Near East to Darfur, Afghanistan, Haiti or North Korea and has worked with programs such as ARTE Info, ARTE Reportages, Tracks and Metropolis.
He has also worked as an assistant director with Daniel Arbid in films as well as working on music videos with French director Henri Jean Dubon for artists such as Noir desir, Sinead O’Connor and the Asian Dub Foundation.
Wissam Sharaf has directed six short fiction films, namely; Shake Oh Waze, Undying Hero, Ant Army and Beyond (Awarded at Bantin, Brive) and a Memorable Friend’s Day (Awarded in Bantain, Clermont-Ferrand, Rhode Island and pre-selected for Best Short Film at Caesars 2020), don’t panic (Participated in the Clermont-Ferrand Festival) In addition to the film All This and More, a documentary that won an award in the Days of Carthage. His first feature film, From Heaven, was selected for the Independent Film Distribution Association section at Cannes in 2016. His latest short film has recently entered post-production and is developing a new feature film script.