BETHESDA (بيثيسدا)

written and directed by Aysha El-Shamayleh, produced by Batoul Ibrahim

short film, dark-comedy

On the set of a dark-comedy about a dance-creator clashing against questions about death and the divine, hating pain is the nemesis of the lead actress. A spiritual journey alongside the director makes her discover freedom beyond the summit of suffering. Yet the young, spiritually-minded director ends on a note of ignorance. Is it possible to serve God in film?

SHE WHO LIVES (عَايْشِة)

written and directed by Aysha El-Shamayleh, produced by Batoul Ibrahim

feature narrative, existential dark-comedy

SHE WHO LIVES is a bilingual (Arabic/English) absurd dark-comedy art-house film. It curates a cinematic experience born out of the intimacy of the creator’s personal journey, for a global audience. The film intends to trigger growth, answer existential questions, and inspire a leaning into the discomforts of our lives, such that through watching, the audience is changed to experience grief (in all its forms) as a twin of the skill to praise life. 

عَايْشِة فيلم روائي طويل باللغتين العربية والإنجليزية، عن رحلة عائشة الفتاة العشرينية، التي تهوى الفن وتعشق إيصاله للناس بجسدها في أرض لا تستخدم الجسد إلا للملذات، وبين فكرة الوجود والخالق تغرق عائشة في الأسئلة، حتى تأتيها الإجابات عن فضولها بتجربة موت والدها بمرض السرطان، فيبدأ صراعها بين تقبل العجز عن المساعدة وحقيقة الفقدان والزلزال الذي سيضرب علاقات الاسرة، عندها تبدأ العبثيّة بالتفشي بطريقة كوميدية سوداء، حتى تختار لها الأقدار طريقا جديدا، لتجد أن ملاذها الوحيد هو الله، وأن الله لا يبعث سوى الحب لإذابة الآلام والهموم. ما ستشاهدونه في هذا الفيلم من أحداث ومشاعر وحب هو حقيقة عاشها القائمون على العمل


co-created by Aysha El-Shamayleh and Batoul Ibrahim

SVOD-series, science-fiction dark-comedy

Inside a migrant reception facility in the US, managed and sponsored by a pharmaceutical giant, the company develops a drug in hopes of improving the vetting process to advance the cultural evolution of society towards a utopian state. The drug uses the science of the human brain and genetics to identify the levels of empathy, love and righteousness in arriving migrants, while weeding out those with an affinity for violence and hate. The process soon starts applying to the general US population, and questions about the morality of seeking control over the presence of evil, in addition to the existence (or lack thereof) of free-will in righteousness creates moral dilemmas about diversity, and the design of Earth as a school of love according to the spiritual realm.

The series is set in a political climate reminiscent of Trump’s era -with its harsh schism between conservatives and liberals. It is in conversation with ancient biblical narratives about human homelessness, in addition to America’s experimentations in Eugenics in the 19th century. The science in the series is based on contemporary research findings relating to epigenetics, the biological basis of violence, and human evolution in the present age.

Clinic 42

created by Aysha El-Shamayleh

SVOD-series, science-fiction dark-comedy

In a hyper-capitalist world where an inner-beauty plastic surgeon gives people any virtue they want, a couple in a perilous relationship opt for the opposite virtues of guardedness and vulnerability. Who does the city prove to have made the best choice?