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FILM GUIDE ARCHIVE FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

TICKLING GIANTS

TFF 2016 Directed by Sara Taksler
FILM GUIDE ARCHIVE TICKLING GIANTS [TFF 2016]
Bassem Youssef faced an unusual choice in 2011: heart surgeon or full-time satirist. The established doctor picked the unexpected path and it would make him one of the most famous men in the Arab world and earn him the nickname “the Jon Stewart of Egypt.” Charting Youssef’s rise and career as Egypt’s most famous television presenter, Tickling Giants offers a rousing celebration of free speech, showcasing the power of satire to speak for the people and against a repressive government. This story differs from the familiar American success of Stewart and Stephen Colbert: Youssef’s jokes come with serious, dangerous, at times revolutionary consequences.

With a precise documentary eye, Daily Show Senior Producer Sara Taksler captures the strength and fragility that color Youssef’s life on and off screen, as well as the courage of the coworkers who stand by him. She celebrates satire as a tool with a greater use than the extraction of a laugh, positioning the genre as both a weapon against fear and an instrument of democracy for those in desperate pursuit of freedom. As one of Youssef’s researchers puts it, “It’s my right to express how I feel.”

—Cara Cusumano
Connect with this film
Website
Interests
Female Director(s), Documentary, NY Director(s), Female Screenwriter(s)
Bassem Youssef faced an unusual choice in 2011: heart surgeon or full-time satirist. The established doctor picked the unexpected path and it would make him one of the most famous men in the Arab world and earn him the nickname “the Jon Stewart of Egypt.” Charting Youssef’s rise and career as Egypt’s most famous television presenter, Tickling Giants offers a rousing celebration of free speech, showcasing the power of satire to speak for the people and against a repressive government. This story differs from the familiar American success of Stewart and Stephen Colbert: Youssef’s jokes come with serious, dangerous, at times revolutionary consequences.

With a precise documentary eye, Daily Show Senior Producer Sara Taksler captures the strength and fragility that color Youssef’s life on and off screen, as well as the courage of the coworkers who stand by him. She celebrates satire as a tool with a greater use than the extraction of a laugh, positioning the genre as both a weapon against fear and an instrument of democracy for those in desperate pursuit of freedom. As one of Youssef’s researchers puts it, “It’s my right to express how I feel.”

—Cara Cusumano
Film Information
Year: 2016
Length: 111 minutes
Language: Arabic, English
Country: USA
Premiere: World
Cast & Credits
Director: Sara Taksler
Screenwriter: Sara Taksler
Producer: Sara Taksler, Frederic Rose, Maziar Bahari, Monica Hampton
Editor: Jamie Canobbio, Tyler H. Walk, Thomas M. Vogt
Executive Producer: Technicolor, Hassan Elmasry
Composer: Paul Tyan
Animations based on cartoons by: Andeel
Cast: Bassem Youssef, Jon Stewart, Andeel, Miral El Desoki, Tarek AlQazzaz, Hend Radwan
Contacts

Press Contact
Josh Baran
Baran Strategies
New York, NY 10016
Phone: 212 779 2666
jcbaran@gmail.com

US Sales Contact
John Sloss
Cinetic Media
New York, NY 10001
Phone: 212 204 7979
sales@cineticmedia.com

Print Source
Sarkasmos Productions
info@TicklingGiants.com

About the Director(s)
Sara Taksler is a Senior Producer at The Daily Show. She directed and produced the feature documentary, TWISTED: A Balloonamentary, about the world’s premier balloon-twisting convention. Taksler can talk backwards and has a remarkable fake sneeze. Sara’s favorite way of Tickling Giants: Using comedy to work through problems.

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