Before the Spring

Los Angeles, California | Film Feature

Drama, History

Aaron Ramzi

1 Campaigns |

Green Light

This campaign raised $34,580 for development. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

197 supporters | followers

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On the brink of the 2011 Arab Spring uprising in Egypt, a young man's life falls apart when he is tortured and extorted by corrupt police officers. When finally given the opportunity to take revenge on his assailants, he must choose whether to perpetuate the violence or break the cycle.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

The Story


Forgiveness. Mercy. These two inter-related subjects were the driving force and the motivation for my team to develop a story about the state of social upheaval that pervades so many nations throughout the world today.

When we witnessed the collective impassioned cries of a people, who had grown tired of oppression and fear, coalesce into a resounding protest in the streets on Cairo, we felt immediately that we, as a global society, were all a part of history in-the-making. A truly organic and grass-roots revolt took hold, and in a relatively short time, succeeded in toppling a government -- utilizing absolutely no violent tactics.

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Since those awe-inspiring days, the state of Egypt and other countries, like Syria and even Ukraine, leaves us saddened by the senseless violence that has claimed the lives of thousands of innocent people. For this reason, we believe that BEFORE THE SPRING is a film of vital importance.

Our film was born out of a desire to remind everybody, even ourselves, that the cycle of violence and revenge is a threat to all civilization. Although our film is set against the 2011 Arab Spring uprising in Egypt, it's message has been stripped down to the fundamental human struggle that we all relate to, no matter what our backgrounds may be. 



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Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Budgeting Service

Costs $5,000

We need a budget designed for the cost of production in the Middle East.

Location Scouting

Costs $2,500

We need to choose initial shoot locations for budget projections.

Scheduling Service

Costs $3,000

We need to design a location-specific production schedule!

Writer's Fee

Costs $5,000

We need a final draft of our script!


Costs $3,000

We need to travel all over to meet with potential investors!


Costs $2,000

We need to wine and dine our potential investors!


Costs $3,500

Our development producer will manage the development budget and get things done!


Costs $700

We will have various administrative expenses like paper, printing, staples, etc., etc.


Costs $4,000

Our Director will be at work during development, shooting our test scene and creating a storyboard.

Marketing Expenses

Costs $3,000

Pitch materials and outreach to build audience and connect with potential investors.

Story-board Artist

Costs $2,000

We need a story-board artist to help us visualize the film before production.

Translation Services

Costs $1,500

We will be utilizing an international crew. We will need the script translated into Arabic.

Demo/Test Scene Production

Costs $2,500

We want to shoot a test scene to visualize the style and assist investor presentations.

Graphic Designer

Costs $1,500

We will need to create a lot of concept art and marketing materials with a polished design.

Grant Application Fees

Costs $800

We will be applying to film funds around the world to raise portions of our budget.

About This Team

We have assembled a team that is both rich in industry experience and especially knowledgeable about the subject of Before the Spring. This film will be produced by Steve Barnett, producer of such hit films as 300 and The Spiderwick Chronicles; written by James Kaelan, writer of upcoming independent features Family Games and EEL; directed by Abdallah Omeish, renowned Mid-East filmmaker responsible for the award-winning films Occupation 101 and The War Around Us; produced by Meriam Alrashid, Egyptian-American attorney and producer with experience in multi-million dollar project management; and produced by Aaron Ramzi, actor-producer with years of industry experience including low budget film and series production.

James Kaelan is a screenwriter, director, novelist, and journalist. Kaelan's first feature sceenplay, Family Games, was optioned for production by veteran producer, Ben Barenholtz, Executive Producer behind a number of the '90s and '00s most influential independent films - including the Coen brothers' Barton Fink and Raising Arizona, and Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream. Family Games, which wrapped principle photography last year, is currently in the final stages of post-production. Kaelan is also the writer and director of the narrative feature, EEL, and the festival-run, award winning documentary, We're Getting On.
James’ careful study of cinema from the Middle East and research into the motivating factors that led up to the Arab Spring uprising in Egypt positioned him to write a wise and universally accessible screenplay for Before the Spring.
Abdallah Omeish is an award-winning filmmaker and director with an established international audience. Most recently, Omeish collaborated with Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Executive Producer Michael Mann, to direct the HBO war documentary, Witness: Libya.
In 2011, Omeish won the prestigious Rory Peck Award in England for his film Libya Through the Fire. Omeish’s debut film, Occupation 101, which examines the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, won several awards world-wide, including the Golden Palm at the Beverly Hills Film Festival.

Omeish followed up on the critical and commercial success of Occupation 101 with his recent documentary, The War Around Us, with Ayman Mohyeldin (2011 TIME’S 100 Most influential people in the world), which tells the story of the only two Western journalists who covered the 2008-2009 Israeli “operation cast lead” from inside Gaza. In 2012 The film received two awards for best Feature Documentary and one award for best feature for “International Human Rights”.

Omeish began his career in cinema filming the tragic effects of war, famine and natural disasters in Kosovo, Ethiopia, Chechnya, and Turkey. After moving to Hollywood, Omeish started out in the music industry where he worked as a cinematographer for hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons’ One World Show. Omeish also worked on other high-profile projects such as Showtime’s Sleeper Cell, the MSNBC documentary, Islam in America: Faith Under Fire, and John Singleton film, Baby Boy.

Steve Barnett was responsible for acquiring, developing and co-producing the ground-breaking action film, 300, among many other successful studio films. Barnett has, in particular, made a name for himself producing high margin horror and action films including Land Of The Dead, Diary Of The Dead (working with zombie legend George Romero) and the remake of Piranha 3D. 
As a film producer and executive for over 18 years, Barnett has participated in every aspect of the feature film business: development, production, financing, distribution, marketing, business affairs and trans-media strategies.
Throughout his career Barnett has maintained highly productive working relationships at every studio, agency, and talent level within the film industry. As a result, he has built an impressive track record of financially and creatively successful films that have generated global box office revenues of over $1 billion.
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Meriam Alrashid is the Co-founder and President of Allusionist Picture House. Meriam holds a B.A. in Criminology from UC Irvine, a J.D. from Loyola Law School, and a LL.M. from George Washington University Law School in International & Comparative Law. She has specialized in commercial and contract law, international dispute resolution, and  large-scale project management. Her experience managing cases with a $6-10 million budget, with often hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars at stake, has positioned her to manage the tumultuous environment of film production. Since transitioning into film production Meriam has quickly made strides toward success. She is currently in development on a number of other projects, including The Rhus, a Viking action epic.
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Aaron Ramzi is the Co-founder and President of Allusionist Picture House. Aaron holds a B.A. in Dramatic Arts from UC, Davis. Aaron's involvement in the performing arts spans some 17 years.  He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the creation and execution of a narrative performance, be it for stage, screen or new media. As a professional actor he has appeared in top programs on the foremost television networks in the U.S. including CBS, NBC, FOX, and Showtime. His most recent feature film performance is in a supporting role for the upcoming war drama Thunder Run, directed by Academy Award-winning producer Simon West. Aaron has produced a documentary about Iraq War survivors entitled Close to Home, and a multiple award-winning comedy series for the web entitled Lien on Me. Lien on Me has recently been pitched to TV executives and media giants like Yahoo!. Aaron brings a creative voice to the producing team at Allusionist Picture House, helping to ensure that their films are not only financially efficient, but that they uphold great artistic integrity.


Current Team