Life and Hereafter
21 year-old budding Egyptian filmmaker Khaled Khella's simple story of fanaticism - Life and Herafter, is making its mark on the short film festival circuit...
Everyone has an angel and devil whispering into their ears but for the pious amongst us, these symbols of moral mysticism don't shut up. Life and Hereafter is a short film directed by 21 year-old Khaled Khella who decided to give filmmaking a go after working in everything from wedding photography to carpentry.
The three and a half minute movie depicts the distress of a man whose bike gets stolen while he is in the middle of praying. He is unsure whether to carry on praying or run after the thief. It's a simple narrative that has already picked up a few awards on the independent film circuit including official selection at Ecologico International Film Festival and official selection at Leden International Short Film Experience.
"I want people to think about what they would do if put in a similar position," explains Khella. "What is the ideal behavior in that situation? And in asking yourself that question, will you be honest with yourself?"
Khella adds that he'd like people to walk away from the film questioning the judgements conservative societies and religious fanatics are so quick to make about the behavior of others without considering individual contexts or temptations. A sort of simplified let him without sin cast the first stone scenario... "The act of praying in the film represents our beliefs in this society, the codes we blindly stick by, and the harsh ways with which we judge anyone with differing opinions, positioning anyone as a traitor or an enemy."
Despite production-values seemingly skyrocketing on many of the short films making their way round the festival circuit, Khella - who self-funded the entire project - was undeterred. "I had no choice but to be optimistic and expect success so as to motivate myself and the crew to work and trust the idea," he says.
Byoued by the success of his first film, Khella is already working on a second project.
"I've started shooting a surreal comedy sketch called Empire of Barboria the Great" he says. "It takes place in a special world with different dimensions designed by me, where clouds are composed of drugs smoke and smugglers are hiding oxygen tubes to be sold to the imprudent guys... for every garbage man there's a singer who is working for him, singing to him while collecting garbage and other weird relationships." We're not entirely sure what any of that means, but seems like it's something we'd appreciate...
Check out Life and Hereafter below...