Egypt Migrations is proud to present Mama, a short film by Marco Adly, which tells the story of a Coptic family in Canada during the days following the Maspero massacre and the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. Below is Marco’s own words on how this film came about and what the creation of this work meant to him:
“In 2016, after the church in Abbassiya got attacked, standing in yet another memorial service listening to condolences and speeches about how Coptic persecution must stop, I felt the same way I’d felt after every attack back home in Egypt. At the time, I couldn’t fully express how I felt but looking around the church and talking to other young, first and second generation, Copts about the attacks, I knew that I wasn’t alone in feeling this way. I decided to make a film about it.
“The process of making mama was long and winding. It was difficult to convince non-Copts of the importance of this story and because of that, I struggled to get the finances to make the film. Finally, after almost two years of writing and trying to raise sufficient funds, I decided to jump ahead and make it anyway. I recruited friends and family for the crew and convinced a friend to take over his apartment for an entire week, during which he had to live amongst camera equipment, set dressing, and even sleep on a child-size bed. We shot over four days and after a post production period of nearly a year, the film is ready to be shared.
“I believe in the power of cinema to move people and to make us feel just a little less distant from one another. The film’s ending is unresolved – I don’t think I was trying to offer a solution or to ‘send a message’. But what I hope the film accomplishes is to make Copts who have never seen themselves portrayed meaningfully on screen know that they are not alone, and that they feel seen in a truthful way after watching Mama.”
Marco Adly is a first-generation Coptic immigrant and an aspiring filmmaker currently living in Mississauga, Canada. This is Mama‘s official launch.