Beyond the Raging Sea, the documentary written and directed by Marco Antonio Orsini, president of the Monaco-based not-for-profit International Emerging Film Talent Association (IEFTA), had its official market premiere today at the Berlin International Film Festival at 3 p.m.
The action-adventure feature tracks the nail-biting tale of two Egyptian adventurers with no experience at sea, Omar Samra and Omar Nour, as they row unsupported in a 7-meter boat from the Canary Islands to Antigua, a distance of 3,000 nautical miles. The pair capsize and as they fight for their lives the tone of the film subtly shifts to mirror the dangers refugees face when trying to cross open water.
Orsini, who also wrote and directed, Gray Matters, a doc about architect and designer Eileen Gray, which was released in theaters in May 2016, tells Forbes Monaco he is excited for the world market premiere to happen at the European Film Market in Berlin. "The film is a first bringing in partners like DHL and the UN Refugee Agency to collaborate with IEFTA on such an important documentary."
Monday's screening follows the announcement on February 22 that Beyond the Raging Sea will see "wide theatrical release across the MENA region via Arab marketing and distribution company MAD Solutions and Middle East exhibitor VOX Cinemas."
Beyond the Raging Sea was made with a budget of €200,000. At its premier last September at the El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt, where it was met with a standing ovation, The Hollywood Reporter’s Deborah Young wrote the film…"hits the audience with an emotional payoff they weren’t expecting.”
The Berlin International Film Festival runs until March 1, during which time Orsini and IEFTA have also partnered with the European Film Mart on the African Hub for the Africa Hub Talks Series 2020 and supporting the Ethiopian and Sudanese pop-ups among other activities.