The Open Reel Boards Rotterdam Competition Title ‘Moss Agate’ (EXCLUSIVE)
International sales agency The Open Reel has acquired Lebanese filmmaker Selim Mourad’s “Moss Agate” (“Agate mousse”), which is in the Rotterdam Film Festival’s Tiger competition.
In the film, a visit to a cosmetic-surgery clinic and the discovery of a lump in his testicle and an abscess in his mouth confront filmmaker Selim Mourad with transience and decay. After his death, which proceeds without any further explanation or ado, Selim’s image appears in an exhibition by a pretentious photographer, and a visitor to the gallery comments that the round framing of these portraits of the dead is reminiscent of film. The actual film frame then also adopts this circular form, this time with Selim’s friend Tamara at the center.
Mourad describes the film as “an ode to life, an exploration of death and rebirth, a poem about cinema,” in his director’s statement.
The film is the concluding instalment of Mourad’s “Linceul” trilogy, preceded by the shorts “Linceul” (2017) and “Cortex” (2018).
The cast includes Tamara Saadé, Selim Mourad, Elie Boudjok and François Yazbek.
“We were totally struck by the visual power present in this new project by Selim, capable of a lucid and bitter reflection on the struggles of contemporary society but in any case in search of that essential light that allows for rebirth,” a spokesperson from The Open Reel told Variety.
The Tiger award is accompanied by a €40,000 ($48,258) cash prize, to be shared between the director and producer of the winning film. Two Special Jury awards worth €10,000 ($12,062) each will also be presented for an exceptional artistic achievement within the competition.
Recent acquisitions by The Open Reel include Daniel Sánchez López’s “Boy Meets Boy,” Negin Kianfar’s “A New Day,” and Eduardo Crespo’s San Sebastian and Mar del Plata title “We Will Never Die.”