From Cairo (Min al Qahira)


In the streets of Cairo, documentary filmmaker Hala Galal moves purposefully and quickly.
She presents a brave face, but she is in constant fear of being harassed (or worse) just for
being a working single woman. Galal follows two women, Heba and Aya, who challenge the
norms and limitations of women in Egypt with a completely different fearlessness.
Heba tries to find space in her life as a single mother and photojournalist to create art that,
among other things, focuses on the existence of the female body. Although money is tight,
her small home is always filled with laughter and the smell of home-cooked food. Meanwhile,
Aya tries to find a foothold in her relationship with family, religion and passion for film. The
contact sport of roller derby takes up more and more of her time, and the community and
closeness to the other women on the team forces Aya to reconsider her position as a
All three women have a desire to create space for more voices and nuanced perspectives in
Egypt. They live alone and work in art specifically, through which they find their way, achieve
their dreams and find some happiness—regardless of the consequences.


Hala Galal is a Filmmaker (writer, director and producer). She is the founder and executive
director of SEMAT Production & Distribution supporting Alternative/Independent Cinema in
Egypt. She has led SEMAT, a cultural hub with links to a number of civil society
organizations involved in the creative sector and youth as well as women organizations in
Egypt/the Arab Region. Hala produced more than 10 films for first time directors. Her long
documentary ‘Women ChitChat’ won the Silver Prize at the Arab Rotterdam Film Festival.