Lotfy Nathan is a filmmaker who graduated in 2009 from Maryland Institute College of Art with a focus in painting. It was during his studies at MICA that he began to pursue film, which has since become his primary focus, informed by his background as a painter. Lotfy’s first film 12 O’Clock Boys, for which he was awarded an HBO emerging artist award, has played numerous festivals domestically and abroad, including SXSW, Sundance LA, Lincoln Center NYC, Viennale, Hot Docs Toronto, London and Copenhagen in 2013, and was ranked seven in the BFI list of top 20 documentaries of 2013. The film had a theatrical release in North America and Europe, and a television release on Showtime. His work has been shown at White Flag Projects, Louis B James Gallery, LA MOCA and Lincoln Center.
The Fire is a feature film following the story of Mohamed Bouazizi, an unassuming fruit vendor, in the days leading up to his symbolic act of self-immolation, which sparked the Tunisian revolution and the subsequent Arab Spring. After settling on a life as a fruit vendor—the only means he could find to support his family—he found himself subject to a merciless system of corruption. Driven to despair, his symbolic act of suicide became a catalyst for millions to revolt.