Hussein Hossam: “stick to your vision”
Hussein Hossam, born and raised in Port Said, Egypt, was interested in cinema from a young age, he experimented with video making while studying in college, and after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, he was among millions of Egyptian youth, took part in the 25th of January Egyptian revolution demonstrations, it shaped his artistic style, and embarked him on a self-learning journey of Film directing and writing, that made him a student at the hands of filmmakers like Aly Badrakhan, and Ahmed Maher. He completed a two-year diploma in film directing at Prague Film School. His first film Barzakh, took part in many film festivals across the middle east and north America, winning the grand prize at “Cineclub de Imouzzer”, Morocco.
What are the most challenging aspects of being a filmmaker?
Dedication and commitment to your vision throughout the tedious process. You have to be stubborn enough to see it through.
What is your source of inspiration for this short film?
Being a young middle easterner torn between two influencing civilizations. Stories of people and women I know.
What is the theme of this film?
Coming of Age.
How do you decide on possible ways to promote your film when you are on a tight budget?
I first decide on the goal I want to achieve with my film realistically, then I reach out to people in my network who can help me achieve that goal. I also educate myself in technicalities and current markets for the promotion of my film.
How important do you think distribution is in today's marketplace?
Extremely important. I believe there is an audience for every piece of art that is being made, it is just a matter of connecting the creator and the recipient.
For those considering self-distribution, what is your advice?
I think it’s a very good experience, especially for the first short film. it taught me a lot personally.
How significant do you think short films are for someone venturing into directing films?
It is an essential training ground, an area where you are freer to experiment and make mistakes, therefore it was very essential for me in learning more about myself, what I like, what I’m doing, and what my style is.
What was the worst challenge of your career so far? How did you take it over?
Creating a network of collaborators and navigating a run-down economy in the film industry in Egypt. How did I take it over? still working on it, with a little help from my friends.
What are the factors to making a good film?
Is there anything you would change if you could go back to the beginning?