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 Om Angelo, a beautiful story in desert
 Documentary film project
 
 
 In a few words
 
 
Two Swiss ceramists, Evelyne Porret and Michel Pastore, had the audacity in the 1980s to settle in Tounès in the Fayum Desert in Egypt with their young blond children like wheat. The village still has no water or electricity, but a treasure that has no price: the imagination of children! Indeed, they already sculpt small animals with talent in local clay. The couple then founded the Fayoum Pottery School, which will give birth to several generations of potters and potters, gradually installing an economy based on the rhythm of man and clay. Evelyne was gone forever in June 2021, what is the future in Tounès? Thanks to Abdou, fourteen-year-old son of potter, the film invites us to appreciate this oasis that has become paradisiacal and understand how the economic emancipation of this village has been possible, without responding to the sirens of capitalist performance

More ...

Abdou, fourteen years old, lives in the heart of an Egyptian village of breathtaking beauty. Thanks to this potter's son, the viewer will discover Tunis, located between Lake Qairun and the Fayoum desert. the spectator will gradually understand the history of the economic emancipation of this Egyptian village which was still deprived of running water and electricity in 1980. How all generations, girls and boys, naturally find their role there, by continuing this human  adventure with Angelo Pastore, who now directs the Fayoum Pottery School. Thus, in Tunis, everyone lives from ceramics, from near or far! Tourists from all over the world come to stop there, welcomed in the many heavenly hotels and restaurants of this oasis. They leave with creations whose naive style is unique! Tourism economy generated by pottery has never ceased to progress for forty years, steadily, almost indifferent to international crises. In a few words, ceramics has clearly drawn the inhabitants of this village towards a more comfortable life and today, the village has more than thirty-two workshops. Thanks to Abdou and his friend Ramadan, you will discover how Tunis was able to become this village that makes you want to live there (!) thanks to the intelligence, instinct and generosity of a couple of Swiss ceramists who left France in 1979: Evelyne Porret and Michel Pastore.

 

Genesis

 

 Two Swiss ceramists, Evelyne Porret and Michel Pastore, already recognized in France in the world of contemporary ceramics, had the audacity in the 1980s to leave Anjou and settle in the desert in Egypt with their young children in the village of Tounès, about 150 kms from Cairo. At that time, the village still has no water or electricity and life is closer to Bedouins than to modern society.
Evelyne worked in the 1960s with Ramses Wissa Wassef, an Egyptian architect who set up a tapestry school near the pyramids. His conviction that all children have a natural artistic sense leads him to trust young people by leaving them free to weave whatever they want on high smooth trades, similar to pharaonic trades. Inspired by the success of this approach, she dreams of applying it in turn to the creation of a pottery school. Evelyne Porret quickly points out the inventiveness and natural creativity of children who sculpt small animals or other subjects inspired by agricultural life in the local mud.

 
                         

                                                     Intentions, in a few words

 

This history allows us to see that the profit of sustainable shared wealth is a constructive path for the emancipation of the population and its economy. The inhabitants of Tunis love their village and protect their future, and the idea of leaving don't need it!

 

                An economy based on the rhythm of man and clay

No desert in your eyes
Tracking  (October 2021 & march 2022)
Fayoum, Egypt
6.10 min

Tracking 
 October 2021 and march 2022 

This little montage is very far from the scenario of the film that I want to make, it's a location-scouting film!

Characters

Fayoum PotterySchool

Street graffitis in Tunis

In Tunis

Om Angelo, the child of art 
or Tunis, a beautiful story in desert

 

Screenplay on request delphine.champy@yahoo.com 

About the script, more ...
 
 

 

 

    We are in Tunis, a village located in Fayoum in Egypt, about 150 kilometers southwest of Cairo. Abdou, fourteen, is the son of Evelyne’s former student, potter Abdel Sattar. This child works in the shop with his father and uncle, and recently with his muette sister. The father is very influenced by Evelyne’s creations, who in a dream told him to make his pitchers. Another uncle invested in construction, he owns a villa with swimming pool and rents to tourists. They all know each other and will lead us to meet the manager of a hotel. Abdou therefore introduces us through his family into the pottery and tourism industry, now inseparable from the village’s economy. Indeed, going to Tunis is a small expedition in the desert and to ensure the dynamics of this economy of tremendous stability, it is necessary to continue to welcome tourists to restaurants and hotels that are almost everywhere. This activity provides employment for the village and those around work. Customers like to take their time to choose their pottery that is imbued with local life and its landscapes: palm trees, goats, flowers, birds, men and women who smile, not to mention the pigeon house that is 100 years old now protected thanks to the Pastore .

 

Ramadan, his eleven year old friend, is the son of a peasant. He is a student at the Pottery School, at the origin of this village’s success. He goes there on Fridays and Saturdays. In the week, after school, he helps his father in the fields. He wants to become a potter and would like to have his shop one day in Tunis. His father also does gardening for the Pastores. He will lead us to Angelo Pastore, who has taken over administrative direction of the School and lives nearby. Then to Michel Pastore who tirelessly travels to Tunis every weekend. As well as to Mahmoud El Sheriff and Hussein, former students for whom the School is almost a second home.


We can see how girls are part of the pottery landscape of Tunis. In her workshop, we will also meet the neighbor Rawiya, a completely independent woman potter. Under the pretext of an expedition originally provoked by Abdou’s desire to see camels, we will also visit another small town, not yet transformed by the activity of ceramics. Then, following Angelo, we will see the city of Siwa, not far from Libya, which is developing a school of pottery with the help of the School of Pastore…

 

Following Abdou and Ramadan we will explore Tunis, a sublime village : its views on the desert and its streets dressed in colorful and poetic graffitis. We will also meet the very rural population of the neighbouring village, their donkeys loaded with cut grass.

 

“Om Angelo” – Angelo’s mother, Evelyne Porret, who left the village forever in June 2021, is very present in the memories of these potters or future potters. What do they tell her? What messages has she left? Would it be enough to have left a desire to protect this village, to preserve the authenticity that today spreads its unique and rare fragrance throughout the world ? !!!

                                            Note of intent

 

 

                              All the big people were first children,
                              but few of them remember it.


                                Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 
 

Abdou, fourteen years old, a potter’s son, is a living illustration of the investment of Evelyne Porret who believed with unshakable faith in the precious imagination of childhood. This energy has created the naive and unique style of Tunis pottery today so appreciated by tourists from all over the world, and even exported to certain galleries in Europe. It is the energy that gives the film the freshness, the enthusiasm, the optimism that emerges from this village.

 

Indeed, the spectator will understand that the Pottery School and the dynamism of the village’s shops ensure future generations of potters. Building constructions could easily disfigure the village. What is this balance that resists the crises that the world undergoing?...

 

We will highlight the system of the Pottery School, its absence of files or meetings which weigh so heavily in Europe! No registration fees, no costs for equipment and materials, no schedules that would have kept an entire population away from this activity, the rhythm of pottery imposes itself on the most motivated. The doors to this profession of the future are open to everyone!

 

The principle of production will consist of filming these scenes with an invisible camera. We will film the actions most of the time with two cameras, Michel and Angelo Pastore speak Arabic fluently but will speak French unless they are talking to someone in the village.


The voices of our characters will first reach us through a short shot, then continued through Off audio recordings. The editing will maintain a spontaneous and constructive flow. This film will therefore not be a report with explanations in the narrator's voice, the shooting and the dialogues must by themselves highlight the intentions of this film. The scenario therefore contains a continuity of dialogues such as I can imagine them thanks recordings made in October 2021 and March 2022.

 

It seems to me preferable to favor visual authenticity while mastering the content of the dialogues, which themselves concretely contain the messages of this film. Profiting from sustainably shared wealth is a constructive way to emancipate a population and its economy. Indeed, the inhabitants of Tunis love their village and protect their future. The idea of ‚Äč‚Äčleaving simply does not exist! The film somehow will communicate this message 24 frames per second!

 

The characters during the filming will learn about the planned dialogues. Of course they will express themselves in their own words, with however a framing of the planned timings. The recordings will be translated quickly and simultaneously after each take so as not to deviate from the planned dialogues.

The first names of the characters indicated are sometimes fictitious, depending on the availability of people on site, according to the real forecasts of the shooting in time. The important thing is their social profile and their gender, age, etc.

 

Sharing, respect, listening and a disconcerting freedom in the School are a priori the keys to this success that Evelyne Porret will have had time to taste. A recurring question will be asked to the characters. What does Madame Evelyne (also called Om Angelo, Angelo's mother) tell them about the future? Do they talk to her and what do they say to her? Their answers according to their interest will be integrated into the scenario, and this intimate question will be treated and highlighted both in the mixing and in the editing.

 

The transitions will be ensured by the poetry of the streets of Tunis, the path that descends to the lake, and the exceptional beauty of the place, enhanced by careful sound recording and an important musical creation to magnify the exceptional destiny of this village. Some close-ups of pottery decorations will reveal their freedom of creation, very inspired by everyday life and paintings of local life.

 

Two universes of music will be present in this film. The traditional music performed by the female voice of Hend El Rawy will reflect the immense wealth of Egypt's past. The oriental and poetic electronic music of Markus (Oud) will symbolize the energy and the hope represented by the youth of this village. These two musical worlds will be elegantly balanced in this film, like the osmosis of this desert land and Evelyne Porret who now rests there. This film will be dedicated to her.

 

Convinced that this story concerns us as citizens of the world and represents a great message for other developing countries, I hope that this film can inspire other projects that apply this "ceramic" philosophy. It is indeed based on the rhythm of humanity, does not seek the maximum profit concentrated over a short period, very far from the fictitious value of the Stock Exchange!...

 

The profit of shared and sustainable wealth is the way of the future which saves the population of Tunis from being forced to leave their own village, either abroad, or to the big cities. I would like the viewer to make this conclusion for himself : encouraging local living conditions reduces forced emigration…

Password to ask to delphine.champy@yahoo.com

Script

                                 Genesis

 

 Two Swiss ceramists, Evelyne Porret and Michel Pastore, already recognized in France in the world of contemporary ceramics, had the audacity in the 1980s to leave Anjou and settle in the desert in Egypt with their young children in the village of Tounès, about 150 kms from Cairo. At that time, the village still has no water or electricity and life is closer to Bedouins than to modern society.
Evelyne worked in the 1960s with Ramses Wissa Wassef, an Egyptian architect who set up a tapestry school near the pyramids. His conviction that all children have a natural artistic sense leads him to trust young people by leaving them free to weave whatever they want on high smooth trades, similar to pharaonic trades. Inspired by the success of this approach, she dreams of applying it in turn to the creation of a pottery school. Evelyne Porret quickly points out the inventiveness and natural creativity of children who sculpt small animals or other subjects inspired by agricultural life in the local mud.

 

The Pottery School of Fayum is largely the fruit of the work that Evelyne Porret, called to the village Om Angelo (Angelo’s mother) followed and encouraged day after day, for almost forty years. Michel Pastore, in parallel with his life as a stylist in Cairo, signs the general concept of the project and will accompany it in its evolution. Very quickly, in the capital, his company (Nagada) dedicated to him a permanent privileged space that exposes and sells the work of students.
Little by little, in the village of Tounès, tourism generated by artisanal pottery made before the eyes of visitors led to the construction of many hotels and restaurants in this paradisiacal oasis. Since then, this exceptional village has attracted other artists, and secondary houses. In June 2021, Evelyne Porret leaves us forever, and the village accompanies to her last home, the one they all call “Om Angelo”, Angelo’s mother. Angelo Pastore now manages the School, assuming as Evelyne direct and daily proximity to the students. Today, the village can count more than thirty-two “boutique workshops” that will perfectly illustrate the success of this unique school in the world!


Michel Pastore every week goes to the village. His workshop awaits him, without pressure, as well as his quiet wooden room located at the bottom of the hamlet, behind a small piece of water frequented by pretty birds.

Evelyne Porret and Michel Pastore

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Om Angelo, the childhood of art

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