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The Film Residency
Nadine Salib

Nadine Salib© Nadine Salib


Nadine Salib is an Egyptian film director and writer. She studied film directing at the IAMS. She started her career as an assistant director in feature films such as 'In the last days of the city', directed by Tamer El Said. Her first Short Film Dawn won a prize at Baghdad Film Festival 2012. Her first feature length documentary Um Ghayeb (Mother of the Unborn), released in 2014 won the FIPRESCI for Best Documentary at Abu Dhabi Film Festival and the special jury prize for the first appearance competition at IDFA.  Um Ghayeb was also rewarded best documentary at Afrycam Festival in Poland 2016 and 1st prize for best documentary at Mizna twin cities festival in USA.


In a faraway land concealed in the mountains and divorced from time, lives Yam a little mute girl with her father Abra and her mother Tiara. Everyday Tiara sings secretly to her daughter a lullaby about a small boy who lost his voice and was saved by a bird after it leads him to a mystical river. After Tiara dies for unknown reasons, Yam has to partake in a ritual of erasing all the memory of her existence  in seven days. She will join her father who is a loyal villager and grandfather Sefro who is one of the four guardians of the water well which is told to be the only source of life in the whereabouts. This ritual is among many other rituals the four guardians have created in order to draw mournful spirits of death away and they claim that breaking any of the rituals draws more death to the village. On the third day Yam encounters a law breaker who has escaped the village and came back for water, he tells Yam of a past incident with her mother in their childhood, where they were both lead by a bird to a river and he gives her a hollow bone which he said to be a bone from the bird. This encounter leaves a strong impression on Yam, she decides to hide the bone from burning and she starts daydreaming, imagining the lullaby characters coming to life leading her to uncover a great secret concealed by the guardians of the well and accordingly jeopardising her time to come in the village.


Up until now, Nadine Salib has worked on documentaries. Her last film distinguished itself by the way in which it delicately approached her main character and addressed a taboo topic. For her new film, she has switched to fiction – it is a feature film intended to be filmed using non-professional actors in the Beqaa Valley. Against the backdrop of the quality of her previous work, and due to the geographical proximity to the film’s location, a stay in Beirut would enable her to make great advances with regard to casting locally, searching for Lebanese co-production and completion of the film script.