American Studio Launches Crowdfunding Effort for Arab Spring Feature Film

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The first American narrative film to focus on the 2011 Arab Spring uprising in Egypt has entered the crowd-funding stage of development. Initiated by Hollywood production company Allusionist Picture House, Before the Spring is seeking a sum of $40,000 via the crowd-funding site Seed&Spark.

According to a press release, Before the Spring focuses on the challenges of a corrupt police force and a violent uprising that befall one married man in the days leading up to the monumental protests in Cairo. The film uses the Arab Spring as a backdrop to examine the roles of violence and revenge in personal and political turmoil.

Abdallah Salem Omeish, whose debut documentary film Occupation 101 won the Golden Palm at the Beverly Hills Film Festival, is set to direct.

“I felt that the world was ready to hear a different message,” Omeish said. “Instead of constant violence, we need to have a message that violence only begets more violence and mercy actually stops [the cycle].”

The film is helmed by veteran lead producer Steve Barnett, whose credits include 300 and The Spiderwick Chronicles. The script was penned by writer James Kaelan, who optioned his first screenplay Family Games to seasoned Hollywood producer Ben Barenholtz.

The crowd-funding campaign began on May 9 and will continue through June 7. At the time of publication, the project had achieved 32 percent of its funding. Before the Spring is slated to begin principal photography in late 2014 or early 2015.

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