Philippe Laurent Dib and Wael Omar
In Search of Oil and Sand
United Arab Emirates, Egypt
Producers: Wael Omar Sayed El Ahl
Production Company: Middle West Films
The group of royals, diplomats and aristocrats at the top of Egyptian high society was about to embark on a cinematic project called Oil and Sand when emerging Hollywood star Frances Ramsden came to town and changed everything. It was meant to be a home movie about an archaic leader trying to regain control of his kingdom after a coup, but it ended up being an oracle foreshadowing their own downfall. Sixty years later, several fascinating 8mm film reels emerge.
Philippe Laurent Dib is a director of Franco-Lebanese origin who was raised in Cairo. After completing a UCLA film course he spent time traveling and working in cinema everywhere from London to Los Angeles to Cairo. In 1996 he co-wrote and directed his debut feature, Welcome Says the Angel. In 2006 he wrote and directed the documentary El Tanbura, which won the Golden Turon in the Etnofilm Festival and the jury prize in the Sawi documentary festival in Cairo.
Wael Omar has been working in film and TV for over 10 years, racking up a wide range of production credits and working with award winning directors and extraordinary human beings along the way. He is recognized for his achievements in digital activism and producing documentaries that have aired on BBC Storyville, AlArabiya, CNN, and ITVS as well as being featured in various international festivals and filmmakers panels. With an eye on the burgeoning media market in the Middle East, in 2008, he co-founded Middle West Films, a development incubator and production house for feature length projects. He co-produced through his company the feature film Villa 69, directed by Ayten Amin, and currently resides in Cairo.