by Marina Kalleny
Amidst the backdrop of a Belgian forest, an Egyptian filmmaker finds herself at a crossroads, grappling with the complexities of refused residency by the Belgian state and losing track in the vast wilderness that surrounds her. Ultimately rescued from her predicament, she embarks on a transformative journey, forming a partnership with a skilled printing artist. Together, they embark on a creative odyssey, endeavoring to translate her poignant forest photographs into tangible art. This collaborative effort becomes a profound exploration of the intricate web of immigration, encompassing themes of identity, and belonging. Amidst the towering trees, they redefine the boundaries of self and culture, forging a connection that transcends the confines of their individual stories.
Marina Kalleny is an Egyptian, born and raised in Cairo. She considers herself a photographer more than a filmmaker. She works around the theme of transformation. By combining a hybrid style, she questions and exposes what a film is. Despite her BA studies in theatre and drama from Ain Shams University, Marina’s early passion for photography inspired her to direct her first short film when she was 21. “Etnen w Eshreen” (Twenty- Two) is a film about coming of age and growing up, it is considered her first experiment with moving images and sound. The film got screened in different national festivals and won 3 prizes. Later she started an on-going film/photography project “Heliopolis” which she received for it the AFAC support fund for the year 2020. In 2023, Marina acquired an international master’s degree in Documentary Film Directing from the Docnomads Erasmus Mundus joint master that took place in Portugal, Hungary, and Belgium.