A young woman and her friends join a car repair shop as “Belia”(colloquial Egyptian for apprentices) to learn the craft from the Ustas (craft headmasters). They explore what this relationship creates as it merges labor with everyday life rhythms to open up a new space for movement.

  • Eman Hussein
  • Eman Hussein
    Concept and Coreography
  • Amr Taher
    Key Cast
  • Hany Atef
    Key Cast
  • Mohamed Mahmoud
    Key Cast
  • Islam El Araby
    Key Cast
  • Ahmed Al Sa'aty
  • Youssra El Hawary
    Sound Design
  • Mariz Kelada
    Executive Producer/Production Manager
  • Hanin Tarek
    Assistant Director
  • Omar Khaled
    Color Correction
  • Project Title (Original Language):
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 51 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    4,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    iPhone 11
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Durban International Film Festival
    South Africa
    July 22, 2021
    South Africa Premier
    Official Selection
  • Local Premier
    February 4, 2021
    Local Premier
  • Local Contemporary Art Competition/Exhbition
    March 11, 2021
    Local Exhibition/Competition
    Awarded a Research Trip to Switzerland from ProHelvetia
  • Local Screening
    March 29, 2021
    Theater is a Must Festival
Distribution Information
  • Mariz Kelada
    Country: Egypt
Director Biography - Eman Hussein

Eman received her BA degree in acting and directing for
theatre from Helwan University in 2017.From 2013- 2014
She joined NAS independent school for street theatre
arts. From 2016 till 2019, She studied at a three-year
professional dance program at Cairo Contemporary
Dance Center (CCDC). Different Martial Arts styles are
a source of inspiration for the quality of her movement,
like Taijiquan, and Shaolin Kung Fu which she has
through her education at MAAT|CCDC and later on
at Meshkah Martial Art School. She choreographed
and directed the dance-film: “A Skewed Conversation”
(2019, Egypt), a short film through which the protagonist (Eman) explores the tension in the process of appearing or becoming visible and disappearing in public space in Cairo’s streets. The film is MAAT for Contemporary Art Production and was premiered as part of the MAAT|CCDC Platform. Later on the film screened in multiple international film festivals such as: Arabic film festival (fameck) in France, Moving iMages Videodance festival 2019 in Cyprus, Aegean Docs International Documentary Film Festival in Greece, Festival Lumières d'Afrique de Besançon in France.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The concept and motivation for making this film is that I have always dreamed of being a “belia”: colloquial Arabic name that stands for an apprentice to a craft headmaster. For a whole year, I fulfilled this dream by working with U’sta Amr, the headmaster and owner of an auto-body-repair shop in Old Cairo. His movement inspired me and validated my impulse for questioning classical formats and venues of contemporary dance in the studios or the theaters. I began to discover new spaces and possibilities for learning a new logic of movement through working and observing the workers and how their bodies move with and around cars. This film is a cross-genre short film that experiments with documentary and dance that explores how dancers deal with these relationships and with the place and its machines and how we can find for our bodies a new dynamic language inspired by the workshop environment. Through the process of producing this film, I explored how to visually emphasize how dancers are affected by the sound of machines, how this reflects on their bodies’ movement, and on the sound design, which is composed entirely of the real sounds of the workshops.