Ashraf Hamdi: In Search Of...
In his latest visual exploration, Ashraf Hamdi finds the subtle beauty that belies our everyday lives. Watch the moving eight-minute film here and find out what he has to say about this artistic project.
Einstein once stated, “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”
For too many of us the essence of life has become generic and habitual. We cannot see the forest through the trees, we cannot marvel at brilliant coincidences, through the daily chore, the beauty gets lost in the banal. Actor/Director Ashraf Hamdi’s latest short film In Search For… is an ode to rediscovering the beauty that exists in our everyday lives.
It’s part one of a trilogy of short art-films. The others will be about happiness and love. “We search for things that are there in front of us and easy to achieve, yet we look further and that’s why we can't see it when it's right under our feet. With every person beauty, happiness or love are variable. And that's what I'll try to do with part two and three, but they'll have a different directing and storytelling style,” Hamdi tells us.
The first installment of In Search For… was shot in five different cities – Cairo, New York, LA, London and San Diego. It follows three or four non-sequential character plots; from a toddler practicing ballet to a woman brooding on the banks of a river and the director himself at a crossroads in a crowded city.
The film is an accumulation of footage captured by Hamdi at random, over the space of a year, in the hopes to eventually make something out of it. “I was putting some of this footage together on a simple edit, and I realized the film needs to be bigger and [better] packaged,” he says. So he cast three actors in Cairo and set out to direct and edit the final project, filtering the footage through gorgeous soft tones and sitting down with composer Hudz, whose piano piece provides a poignant sentimentality to the film.
“I want people to snap out of the real world for eight minutes and live in a good state of mind. I think somehow I have reached that. People are saying they’ve watched it over and over again, and others say they saw different phases of their lives in each part or each person in the movie,” he says.
“Beauty can be found in everything; we just need to stop looking. We need to live it and spread it instead.”
Check out the video below:
Re-Visit our Scene Session interview with Ashraf Hamdi here.