Private Project

Cream of the Crop

Set in a jam-manufacturing company in Alexandria, the film presents the lives of a number of employees at a time when they face financial difficulties. As they attempt to find an outlet for their financial problems, they get trapped together. The events unfold in the vein of black comedy.

  • Dina Abd Elsalam
    Mesteka and Rehan, Girls of a Feather, Rest in Peace
  • Dina Abd Elsalam and Ashraf Mahdy
  • New Picture Production
  • Dina Abd Elsalam
  • Ashraf Mahdy
  • Ashraf Mahdy
    Key Cast
  • Sherif Abou Hemila
    Key Cast
  • Doaa Elzeiny
    Key Cast
  • Onsy Elgendy
    Key Cast
    "Noushy Metry"
  • Hanan Henawy
    Key Cast
  • Amin Hegazy
    Key Cast
  • Amina Elzoghby
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    وش القفص
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 40 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    September 9, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Best Narrative Feature at Indus River International Cinefest, India, Jan-Feb 2022.
  • Best Director Award at Anubhav International Film Festival, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, 24 February 2022.
  • Best Narrative Feature at Druk International Film Festival, Bhutan (8 January 2022)
  • Best Director at Marudham Indie Film Festival, India (October 2021)
  • Best Feature Film Marudham Indie Film Festival, India (October 2021)
  • Best Poster at Marudham Indie Film Festival, India (October 2021)
  • Jury Award at Golden Peacock International Film Festival, India (October 2021)
  • Finalist at Pattaya International Film Festival, Pattaya, Thailand, 28 March 2022.
  • Finalist at Chicago Cinemalia Film Festival, Chicago, United States, 7 March 2022.
  • Finalist at Cosmic Film Festival, Florida, USA, 10 Feb 2022.
  • Semi-Finalist at Eurasia International Film Festival, Russian Federation, December 2021.
  • Semi-Finalist at Boden International Film festival, Sweden (December 2021)
  • Egyptian Film Competition at Aswan Women International Film Festival, Egypt, 23-28 February 2022.
  • Nominee for Best Feature, Best Comedy and Best Director at MABIG Film Festival in Germany, December 2022.
  • Official Competition at Colortape International Film Festival, Australia, (November 2022).
  • Official Competition at Bridge Fest, Vancouver, Canada, 6 May 2022.
  • Official Competition at San Antonio Independent Film Festival, Ecuador, 19-22 March 2022.
  • Official Competition at Nepal International Film Festival, Kathmandu, Nepal, 24-28 March 2022.
  • Egyptian Film Competition at Aswan Women International Film Festival, Egypt, 23-28 February 2022.
  • Official Competition at Rabat International Author Film Festival, Morocco (February 2022).
  • Official Selection at Sofia Menar Film Festival, Bulgaria (January 2022)
  • Official Competition at Emerald Peacock Film Festival, Russian Federation (December 2021)
  • Official Selection at Angaelica Film Festival, USA (December 2021)
  • Official Competition at Alexandria Mediterranean Film Festival, Egypt (September 2021)
Distribution Information
  • New Picture Production
    Country: Egypt
Director Biography - Dina Abd Elsalam

Dina Abd Elsalam is an Egyptian indie filmmaker, who managed to make all her films in her hometown Alexandria with minimal budgets. Her works neatly belong to the auteur cinema, and they are also a perfect example of DIY, for most of the time, she is the producer, writer, director, editor, and distributor of her films. Rest in Peace 2014, Girls of a Feather 2016, and Mesteka and Rehan 2017, Cream of the Crop 2021 received critical acclaim and won numerous national and international awards. She has recently launched her feature film Cream of the Crop 2021 in her hometown Alexandria and the film is already an official selection in a number of festivals and has received several awards. She is also a writer with a novel and a collection of short stories to her name. She holds a Ph.D. in Critical Theory and currently works as an associate professor at the English Department, Faculty of Arts, Alexandria University.

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Director Statement

Why do I make films? What will I add to the film industry which already teems with big names, huge studios, and high production budgets? What is it that I can offer as an independent filmmaker with no financial resources and minimal prospects for distribution? I pondered for long and couldn’t find a “logical”, or “rational” answer, though logical and rational are human-made constructs after all. I found an emotional one instead, which big minds would not like very much; I will sure look petty in their eyes. But I don’t really care anymore. My films might look unprofessional, or jittery at times, but if they ever managed to touch someone, move them, set them thinking, then I should go on making films. I really don’t care about the professional filmic look, high-quality cameras or expensive equipment. Why should I inflict self-torture on myself by comparing my films to high-budget ones? I have decided to shed aside all those inhibitions and insecurities. When in the margin, don’t distract yourself with things that are not meant for you. Leave the mainstream for the mainstreamers, and embrace that peripheral space that allows you to express your sincere concern for humanity.