22 November 2023:
The Academy of Cinema Arts and Techniques, the organization in charge of France’s César Awards — the French version of the Academy Awards — has released its annual Revelations list, which features 32 up-and-coming actors making waves in the French-speaking film industry, among them the Ethiopian French actress Clara Couturet for her role in Wissam Charaf’s DIRTY DIFFICULT DANGEROUS.
Couturet — who is nominated for the Césars’ Most Promising Actress Award — starred as Mehdia in Wissam Charaf’s French-Lebanese feature DIRTY DIFFICULT DANGEROUS, which recently saw its commercial release in French cinemas as well as several screenings at Cinema Akil in the UAE and the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo.
The romantic drama held its world premiere as the opening film for the Giornate degli Autori's Competition at the 79th Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Europa Cinemas Award for Best European Film, making Wissam Sharaf the first Arab director to receive the award.
The film also had its Arab World premiere at the Red Sea International Film Festival, where it was nominated for Best Feature Film and has since gone on to feature and compete at nearly 20 prestigious film festivals around the world.
Among the film’s awards are the Audience Award in the Feature Film Category at the Entrevues Film Festival, the MOZAIK Bridging the Borders Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, and the Critics Award - Special Mention at the Hamburg Film Festival.
It has also been featured at the Thessaloniki, Hong Kong Asian, Montpellier Mediterranean, Qisah, Cinemamed, Kolkata, Pune, Marseille CINEVERSE, Arabesque, Franco-Arab, Haifa Independent, and Three Continents film festivals.
DIRTY DIFFICULT DANGEROUS has received wide critical acclaim both locally and internationally, with Allan Hunter from Screen Daily describing it as “slight but intermittently charming,” and that its “lightweight approach to some serious issues creates an awkward mix in places, but, at its best, the film has the lugubrious air of an Aki Kaurismaki film.”
The film follows Ahmed — a Syrian refugee roaming the streets of Beirut searching for metal objects to be recycled, who thought he’d find love with Mehdia, an Ethiopian domestic.
However, in this city, such a story seems almost impossible. Will the couple be able to reclaim their freedom despite Ahmed’s body slowly turning to metal due to a mysterious illness?
Directed by Wissam Charaf, who co-wrote it with Hala Dabaji and Mariette Désert, DIRTY DIFFICULT DANGEROUS stars Couture, Ziad Jallad, Rifaat Tarabay and Darina Al-Joundi. It is also produced by Aurora Films, Né à Beyrouth Films, and Intramovies, while MAD Solutions manages the film’s distribution in the Arab world and Intramovies manages international sales.
Wissam Charaf is a French Lebanese director, cameraman, and editor. He has worked as an assistant director with Danielle Arbid and on music videos with French director Henri-Jean Debon for artists such as Noir Desir, Sinead O'Connor, and the Asian Dub Foundation.
He also directed six short fiction films, including HIZZ YA WIZZ, A HERO NEVER DIES, AN ARMY OF ANTS, AFTER, UNFORGETTABLE MEMORY OF A FRIEND, and DON'T PANIC.
His first feature film HEAVEN SENT was also selected for the ACID section of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, and his latest short film has recently entered post-production. He’s currently developing a script for a new feature film.