The Spotlight is an interview series in which we follow under-the-radar contenders as they break ground in the festival and awards space.
A feature debut is no small feat. From worrying about financing to scheduling to all the woes that come with production, it’s a process that can overwhelm even the most seasoned filmmaker. Making it to the finish line is a miracle all on its own, at least according to FREE THE WORK creator Dina Amer.
Dina Amer is an award-winning filmmaker and journalist. She produced the Oscar-nominated and Emmy award-winning documentary The Square, where the Egyptian Revolution was chronicled from the frontlines. Growing up between the US and Egypt, her work has focused on sharing nuanced, human stories with a global audience. Previously, Dina was a celebrated journalist. She was an on-air correspondent for VICE, including “The Black Market Series,” where she uncovered the human trafficking of Syrian refugees and explored the underground economy of illegal Egypt-Gaza tunnels. Her written work has been published in The New York Times, CNN, and the Huffington Post. And now the Egyptian American director is preparing for the theatrical rollout of her feature debut film, You Resemble Me.
The film follows the story of Hasna Ait Boulahcen, a woman who was falsely accused of being Europe’s first female suicide bomber. Cultural and intergenerational trauma erupt in this story about two sisters on the outskirts of Paris. After the siblings are torn apart, the eldest, Hasna, struggles to find her identity, leading to a choice that shocks the world. Director Dina Amer takes on one of the darkest issues of our time and deconstructs it in an intimate story about family, love, sisterhood, and belonging.
Read the full interview here.