Watch our documentary here!

Our documentary is finally available for the public to watch.

All we ask is to pay a small fee of your choice, we have left it blank so please feel free to contribute anything from £1 to £10 depending on your budget.

This amount will go towards submitting to more film festivals, marketing our documentary & spreading the message.

Type in the amount & click “update” & after the payment has gone through we will email you a link to the film via Youtube.

We would love your feedback in our comment box. Enjoy!

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We’re Doing It In Public

Our documentary was screened for the first time to the public last night in Bahrain. The ambassador of Jordan, Mr Mohammed Ali Suraj & his wife, attended the viewing, which was a full house.

In fact, it was so full that people requested a second viewing and by popular demand the film will be shown again on Saturday.

Toufic was there to represent the film and attend the Q&A. The feedback was extremely positive.

Mr & Mrs Suraj have asked for a copy of the film to show their friends & colleagues.

 

 

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We won Best Tourism Reportage prize at Silafest in Serbia!

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From the Desert to the Danube

Nice place for a festival

Nice place for a festival

After Tomorrow has been invited to a the Sila Fest Tourism and Ecology Film Festival. As you can see from the pic above, the setting is beautiful. Screenings take place on the Danube River, in a small Serbian town called Veliko Gradiste.

Carl is in town representing the film on his own as Toufic has other commitments, and on 1 September he was on stage to introduce the film. See below – Carl looking as comfortable as ever in the public eye!

Carl on stage introducing the film

Carl on stage, nervously introducing the film

Sila stands for Silver Lake, a small resort town that hosts the guests. It’s a pretty beautiful spot!

Danube

Silver sunset

Silver sunset

Most of the films at the festival are tourist ‘destination’ films – you know the type: the ones with glorious drone shots of mountains and beaches and gorgeous gorges and waterfalls. Films that sell the dream; that lure people in to new destinations.

In contrast, ‘After Tomorrow’ is a whole other beast. It’s almost an anti-tourism film: one that shows the reality behind the dream. Thankfully it’s had a very good reception from our fellow festival-goers and some of the public (the ones that understand English), and more great contacts and friendships have been made.

Prizes will be awarded on Friday night – wish us luck!

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On the Red Carpet

Tales from our recent adventures at the Tripoli Film Festival.

So there we were, walking down a red carpet, heads turning towards us, cameras pointing, microphones thrust under our noses. All very much in the public eye. It was great, it was terrifying, it was utterly alien.

But mostly great.

cameras sign

Tripoli Was a Trip

And so we spent 8 days in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. We ate gigantic portions of food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We were welcomed and treated like gold by a fun, professional little team. We had drivers, a security detail, a translator, a cosy room in an old monastery. We were taken on cultural trips. We met Lebanese icons of film, old and new. And did I mention that we ate? My God…

Oh yes, and we watched some films.

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Film Festivals Live Up to their Name

Although the Tripoli Film Festival (TFF) was a small, humble affair, we still had plenty of movies to watch. By the end of the eighth and final day, we’d pretty much reached saturation point. Carl had to watch Horrible Bosses 2 on the flight back to South Africa, just to flush his mind out with nonsense after a week-long period of intense international dramas, comedies, documentaries.

You Schmooze You (don’t) Lose

Being Film Festival neophytes, we weren’t used to the schmooze aspect. If you’re ever invited to one of these things, take note. You need to network like there’s no (after) tomorrow.

One of our party was rather adept at this practice, and through observing him in action we picked up the ground rules:

  • Talk to everyone, especially the judges
  • Tell everyone that you want to make a documentary about them
  • Attend every event set-up by the organisers
  • Talk up your film at EVERY opportunity

Hey, it worked for him: he won a prize.

Winning Fans

So, no, After Tomorrow didn’t walk away with the Best Documentary prize, but we had our share of fans. One journalist interviewed us for an hour and a half, and wrote three full-page pieces for Arabic newspapers. Another critic bumped into Carl in Beirut and told him that we were robbed by not winning.

But as much as we had our fans, we also had some criticisms.

Everyone’s a Critic

After some time living in so-called Western culture, it felt good for us to be back amongst Arabs. As a rule, they’re are not shy, and we heard every opinion under the sun about how our film could’ve been better. “I loved the film, but I wouldn’t have done this, next time you should do that” was a common refrain. All quite unlike the rather restrained individuals you’d encounter in London or Jo’burg.

At the end though, all this bluntness did serve to strengthen our resolve. We believed more in our creative decisions. Because if you have to take everyone’s opinion into consideration, you’d never finish a thing. And then you wouldn’t be jetting off to cool places like Tripoli to attend a film festival.

So no regrets.

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Welcome to the Danger Zone

You know, the world’s media doesn’t exactly make you feel safe about travelling to Tripoli.

Type ‘Tripoli, Lebanon’ into Google, and you’ll get news of a suicide bombing from January 2015. Go to Wikitravel and you’ll see an encouraging block of text detailing a Travel Advisory against travelling to the city.

Paranoia is a State of Mind

So, upon receiving the invitation to attend the Tripoli Film Festival, the fear began to set in. This only grew stronger the more we researched and the more we spoke to people. Even friends and family of ours who live in Beirut (let’s be honest, not exactly the paragon of a ‘safe city’) warned against visiting the Northern town: “It’s still hot, watch out!”

But we swallowed our fears and trusted in the Gods. Carl’s rationale was that he was from Johannesburg, goddamnit, so how could Tripoli be worse? (There was a travel advisory against Johannesburg at the time too, due to xenophobic violence).

On the Front Line

We stayed in a suburb called El Mina, just outside of Tripoli proper. We never felt unsafe in that particular area, however we weren’t immune to the paranoid poison that had leaked into our thick skulls before departure.

On one occasion, whilst searching for an antiques market, we ended up on the ‘front-line’ which had seen plenty of sectarian violence over the years. The bullet-pocked buildings and makeshift army bunkers inside ruined buildings got us nervous. As did the reaction of our Head of Logistics who, upon finding out where we were, came racing along in his van and scooped us up, delivering us safely back at our hotel.

Apparently he was worried about pickpockets…

Anyway, I guess fear can’t be ignored, especially when you’re promoting an event (the Film Festival) which is specifically designed to show the world that Tripoli is a great place to visit.

Tripoli is a Great Place to Visit

Yes, it bears repeating. It’s quiet, especially compared to Beirut. It’s on the coast. The food is great. There are amazing historical buildings that you can visit without having to endure a queue. Shopping is cheap and, best of all, there’s no bargaining. People there are so unused to tourists that the concept of setting a high price and bargaining down is foreign – basically, everyone pays a local price.

20150502_124904The people are especially friendly. Everyone in the team of volunteers was lovely. We made genuine friendships, knowing that if we’re ever to return, we’ll be looked after like kings.

20150501_120053Tripoli sounds great. When can I go?

Look, it does have it’s problems, like everywhere. There is still fear in the air. The sectarian tension will probably never go away. ISIS is apparently (according to Western media) snaking its tendrils into every corner of the Middle East and surrounds – so there’s always that.

It’s not the cleanest of towns (one rat in particular took a fondness to Carl’s schwarma one evening), and there isn’t a huge amount to do, especially if you’re used to so-called ‘big city’ living.

But hell, why not see for yourself? We can put you in contact with some great people who’ll be only too pleased to show you around.

After all, that’s the only way to know for sure.

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Taking a Trip to Tripoli

Tripoli Badge

If you’re following us on Facebook (check us out if not: https://www.facebook.com/aftertomorrowmovie), you’ll have noticed that After Tomorrow has been accepted at the Tripoli Film Festival in Lebanon! It takes place from the 30th of April till the 7 of May.

The organisers have kindly offered us free accommodation, food and transport, so how could we possibly say no. Not to mention that we now have the chance to screen our film in proper theatres, and hopefully lead Q&A sessions and have meetings which might lead to… well, who knows what.

We’ll try to blog a daily report from Tripoli, if we’re not too busy watching films, eating fish and sweets, and visiting some really cool historical sites in this ancient city.

One fascinating aspect of our trip is that this particular film festival seems to be part of the slow regeneration of the city… an attempt to regain its lost, rich artistic heritage. We’ll learn more when we spend time there, but we’re massively grateful to be a part of the story, and can’t wait to attend.

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