Nadine Sahib: Mother of the Unborn

I met her in Damascus during the DoxBox festival and later again in Cairo for a workshop, so I know how hard Nadine Sahib has been working to complete her film, that now (bravo!) is at idfa, in the First Appearance Competition. I am not there but will watch the film on the brilliant Docs for Sale Online.

Melanie Goodfellow made an interview for the idfa daily – I have picked some quotes, please go and read it all, link below:

… the film explores prejudices towards infertile women in Upper Egypt through the plight of Hanan, a childless woman living in an impoverished village in the region. “I was intrigued by the Egyptian ancient tradition of naming infertile women ‘Mother of the Unborn’, or ‘Um Ghayeb’ in Arabic,” explains director Nadine Salib on the origin of the documentary. 

“I’d heard this term used a lot in Upper Egypt and decided to investigate the issue. These women are often stigmatised, even sometimes accused of bringing bad luck.” “I wanted to make a film about the Mother of the Unborn, but I didn’t exactly know what it would be about. Deep in me, I wanted to meditate on why it was so important for the women in the region to have a baby and why the women in the region were so keen to carry on living in such a harsh environment.”

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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