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Hunt Feast shooting in Syria with Iraq theme

Today’s Iraq Provides Setting for Landmark Syria/UK Co-Production

Writer/director Nabil Maleh’s

THE HUNT FEAST
Currently filming in Syria and Lebanon. To Be Unveiled At Cannes 2004

The story of an escaped high-ranking officer of the former Iraqi regime on the run with millions of dollars earmarked for an insurgency campaign against the occupying American forces, is the subject of a landmark Syrian/UK co-production feature film currently shooting in Syria and Lebanon, which gets its first unveiling at this year’s Cannes Film Festival

This contemporary political thriller marks the first ever English language co-production between the two countries.

Written and directed by maverick Syrian filmmaker Nabil Maleh, internationally recognised as the founder of Syrian ‘auteur cinema’, “The Hunt Feast”, deals speculatively with the highly controversial and extremely current issue of the growing disturbances to the peace process being witnessed daily in Iraq.

Fully financed by Reguard (Syria) and Hannaywood Studios (UK), “The Hunt Feast” shapes the events taking place in the Middle East into a powerful contemporary thriller. Having detached himself from the fallen regime and evaded capture, Majid, the film’s subject, is in possession of several million dollars of Saddam’s missing millions. Laying low in the mountains of Lebanon, and fleeing the wrath of both the United States and Col. Jabbar and his heavies who want the money back, Majid embarks on a series of cloak and dagger missions whilst planning his ultimate escape from Beirut to South America where he plans to set up his operational base. His final downfall will come not from the American forces, but an unlikely source much closer to home.

Majid is played by English actor Simon Dutton, previously seen as Simon Templar in the cult TV Series “The Saint” and features such as “Dangerous Beauty”. He is joined in the cast by fast-rising British actress Laila Rouass who has firmly established herself as one of our most popular actresses through her appearances in series such as “Footballer’s Wives” and films such as “The Four Feathers”; and Andy Lucas, previously seen in “Sexy Beast”.

Considered one of the fathers of Syrian cinema, writer/director Nabil Maleh is probably best recognised internationally for his award winning feature “The Extras”, which brought him to prominence outside his home country. He has made seven other features as well as having directed or produced many documentaries and documentary series. His work has always been marked with a political edge, particularly films such as “The Dupes”, a feature drama set in Iraq in the 50’s, which was one of the first Arab films to address the Palestinian predicament. The Leopard and Fragments are also award winning productions.

Shooting on a budget of $3.5million, “The Hunt Feast” continues filming through to May 21. Footage from the film will be seen for the first time at Cannes 2004.

THE HUNT FEAST is a Reguard (Syria) / Hannaywood Studios (UK) co-production. Directed by Nabil Maleh. Written by Nabil Maleh and Alexander Robertson. Executive producers Zuher Harba and Das Abra. Produced by Marwan Akkawi. Shooting on location in Syria and Lebanon until May 21.

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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