Wednesday, March 24
(2020, Mayye Zayed, Egypt/Germany/Denmark, 92 mins, in Arabic w/ English subtitles)
Guest: Mayye Zayed
Introduction by: Kathryn Lachman, UMass Amherst
“On a busy, noisy high-traffic street corner in Alexandria, Egypt, a seemingly vacant corner lot surrounded by chain link fencing is the training site of Egypt’s most elite champions – female weightlifters. Zebiba (Arabic for “raisin”) has been training at the site for five years, since she was 9, following in the footsteps of Egypt’s most famous athletes of all time – including the first Arab, female, two-time Olympic medalist, Abeer Abdel Rahman, and World champion and Olympic athlete, Nahla Ramadan. Nahla’s father, the visionary Captain Ramadan, has bred champions, female champions, from his makeshift corner–lot training site for over two decades – 4 Olympic, 9 World and 17 Pan African champions. Now it is Zebiba’s turn. But can Zebiba put aside her youthful instincts, and direct her focus to be the weightlifting champion the Captain is sure she is?”
Watch and Participate
March 18 – March 24
(Weds, March 24 at 1:00PM EST)
All events are free and open to the public.
About the Filmmaker
An Egyptian filmmaker and the founder of Cléo Media for production and impact distribution in Alexandria. After studying Telecommunications & Electronics Engineering in Alexandria University, she studied filmmaking in the Jesuits Film workshop. Then she received the Fulbright scholarship and studied cinema and media studies in Wellesley College and Innovations in Documentary in MIT in 2011/2012 in the US. She is the recipient of Film Independent’s Global Media Makers Fellowship in 2017 and 2019. She’s also an alumna of Berlinale Talents, Mediterranean Film Institute, Documentary Campus Masterschool, DOX BOX and the American Film Showcase documentary program in USC School of Cinematic Arts. Mayye is a film director, producer, director of photography and editor. In 2013 she co-directed, co-produced and co-shot the collaborative feature The Mice Room (Dubai FF 2013, Sao Paulo FF 2014) with 5 other filmmakers. In 2016 she made the award winning short A Stroll Down Sunflower Lane (Berlinale 2016, AFI Fest 2016, Best Experimental Film at Sharjah Film Platform 2019). During the period (2013-2019) Mayye co-founded and Worked in Rufy’s Films.
About the Guest
Professor Kathryn Lachman joined the faculty of French and Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the fall of 2008. A native of South Africa, she holds a Ph.D. in French from Princeton University (2008). She earned simultaneous B.A. and M.A. degrees in French from Yale University (1998). Professor Lachman was the recipient of a George Lurcy Fellowship for research in Paris (2005-6); she also received the Henry Hart Rice Fellowship for research in Beirut, Lebanon (1998-2000), during which time she taught at the American Community School Beirut and wrote music criticism for the Dailystar. She earned the Premier Prix in violin performance and Premier Prix à l’unanimité for chamber music and history of music at the Conservatoire National de Région de Paris in 1995.
She is the author of Borrowed Forms: The Music and Ethics of Transnational Fiction (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2014), an edited volume entitled Feasting on Words: Maryse Condé, Cannibalism and the Caribbean Text (Princeton: PLAS, 2006), articles in Research in African Studies and Music, Sound and the Moving Image, and numerous book chapters on African and Francophone literatures. Professor Lachman’s research and teaching interests include contemporary North African literature, literary theory, intermedial relations between music and literature, Sub-Saharan African literature, migration and diaspora studies, and contemporary French and Francophone film.