Asphalt, Truckers on the Road

Summary
A travelogue of two Arab truckers on the road balanced against the fragile region they cross
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Campaign unsuccessfully ended on: 21 Nov,2014

This project has not been successfully funded. Sorry!

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I'm all new to the crowd funding platform and its amazing way of getting people to contribute into the making of projects. And now I'm relying on your donations to help me finish the work on this project that means so much to me.

Solo Films (Producer: Abir Hashem) and New Tree Productions (Producer: Farida Fdani) together have been working along with the director, Ali Hammoud, to bring the project into reality; attending workshops and markets, applying for funds, and coordinating with other production units. 

The FILM

Asphalt is a feature length documentary on the lives of two truck drivers who cross borders, towns and cities to load and reload goods. One trucker is located in Lebanon and the other in Egypt. The Lebanese trucker, Derar Nseeir, hauls goods across Syria, Jordan and all the way to the gulf countries . Meanwhile, The Egyptian, Mohamad Ahamd (Nicknamed Scooter), drives across Egypt and to Sudanese border to unload and reload back. Yet the two have one thing in common: making a living in an ever-changing grounds; an asphalt that stretches kilometers across the Arab world.

At one point these truckers bear the cost of border closure, backlogged traffic and rough roads. When tension arises, its direct impact on drivers can be felt. Yet, there are some good days spent on the road; the little laughs and good company with like-minded truckers.

The Drivers

Derar Nsseir (Lebanese) has some distinguished traits most importantly the look, verbal expressions and voice tone. He’s a hard working man. He likes to keep himself at ease too, to which he enjoys a meal or two he prepares while on the wait, and coffee and cigarettes to adjust the mood. Derar is a heavyset man and this has to do with him being behind the wheel for days and his lack of physical activity.

Nevertheless, Derar is fairly sensational and sensible man. His life is in normal pace despite some obstacles, which he always finds away to overcome them. He looses his temper when things go wrong, but he finds a way to control it. He can be aggressive when it comes to his share, and knows well how to bargain.

Meanwhile, Mohamad Ahmad (scooter) is sensitive and generous man. He can be restless with quick temper at moments, funny and lighthearted at another. Nevertheless, he always has space in his heart for forgiveness. Years on the road had taught him to be bold and venturesome.

He doesn’t seem to be satisfied with his marriage and is willing to speak volumes, despite his family unity, feels that he deserves someone better, ‘ someone who’s willing to give him as much as he would give back’. He contemplates his misfortune with three marriages and is seeking stability where his heart and mind lays.

In that sense, Asphalt takes us into a journey to examine closely the relationship between man and machine and a reflection on life from behind the wheels.

Asphalt will strictly be a road film that will follow each character on the work-line, and the freeways that they cross, places they visit and the lifestyle they lead.

   
 

The Expenses

The film has gone through two major phases: the development phase which was developed within the training program of DOCmed for creative documentaries and later received a development funding from the Doha Film Institute (DFI). In the production phase the film received two generous grants from the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) and Organisation Internationale De la francophonie (OIF) in the span of two years.

The film is currently in the final stage of production. Shooting will commence in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, thus with your contribution we can cover the the following expenses:

- travel and accommodation
- equipment rental
- production assistant's fees
- cameraman fees

The team on production is the filmmaker, Ali Hammoud, and Director of Photography, Fadi Yeni Turk. We incorporate as well other professionals ( production managers, film boards, government personnel and drivers) whenever we are present in other countries for filming.

So far we have filmed several times in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt and once in Sultanat Oman. Hence, Production costs can drain the budget in such a short period, besides the prolonged time needed between one shooting and the other, and the time lapse for logistics from one country to another in the region. After all, the experience is all thrilling and rewarding and have taught us few lessons on how to work around things to the benefit of the film.

 
The Impact

In a project that relies heavily on the trust system we have built over the past year or so with the participating characters who have laid their lives before us to witness, we are always at risk of filming being pushed back or dates being moved around due to their hectic schedule and their distance travel at all time.

Yet, that didn't keep us from pushing forward with the documentary to reach what we have achieved so far. The process is fairly demanding and requires patience whilst our aim is to proceed to the post-production stage by as early as 2015.

Without this crowd-funding campaign on Zoomaal, the film would be in hiatus for an unknown time until searching for alternative source of funding and that eventually would take time and affect our relationships and credibility. 

Other Ways You Can Help
 
If you can't contribute at this time, and we totally understand, just simply help us spread the word on your social network (facebook, twitter, google+, Instagram, or any other social network), or use your ways to shout out.

THANK YOU ALL FOR THE CONTRIBUTIONS!





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No Parnter Exist
Beirut, Lebanon
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Ali Hammoud is a filmmaker, executive producer and artist. Born with the passion for cinema since I was young, I have received my BA in communication arts from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and since 2001, I have been…

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