Berlinale: Programme

Film file

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Seif Tagreeby

Experimental Summer

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Seif Tagreeby follows Mahmoud and Zeinab in their search for the original version of the first Egyptian independent film of the same name produced in the 1980s. All copies of the film were either destroyed or confiscated by the Government Film Agency, an institute that governed the production and distribution of film at the time. In response, Egyptian filmmakers created their own versions of the film, all under the name Seif Tagreeby.
The importance of Seif Tagreeby comes not only from being the first independently produced film, but also because of its alternative and guerilla distribution. To fight the Government Film Agency the filmmakers screened the film in cafés, shop windows, and video clubs without state permits. In their search the two friends find that 23 different versions existed, all of them shot in winter and following a girl hearing answering machine messages. Despite their journey they cannot confirm that the original version was shot in winter, but it can be assured it was produced before the invention of the answering machine.
In continuation of the legacy Mahmoud and Zeinab are making their version of Seif Tagreeby.

Mahmoud Lotfy

Egypt / Qatar 2016


69’ · Colour & Black/White


Zainab Magdy
Essam Esmail
Ahmed Magdy
Mahmoud Eissa
Amr Wishahy
Maryam Saleh
Amina Yasser


Written and Directed by
Mahmoud Lotfy
Mahmoud Lotfy
Essam Esmail
Shadi El Hosseiny
Sound Design
Sama Abdul Hadi
Sama Abdul Hadi
Production Design
Mahmoud Lotfy
Assistant Director
Ehab Abdo
Production Manager
Adham Yehia
Mahmoud Lotfy


Mahmoud Lotfy

Mahmoud Lotfy was born in 1990 in Cairo, Egypt, where he lives as an independent director. He is one of the founders of Otaku Digital Film Productions and participated in the making of several independent films.


2008 Starting Dream in Street; 5 min. 2009 Silly Fiction Film; 12 min. 2012 Nescafe and Cigarettes; 8 min. 2016 Seif Tagreeby (Experimental Summer)

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2017

Produced by

Otaku Digital Film

World Sales

Zawya Distribution