Egypt's favorite satirist Bassem Youssef – dubbed the 'Egyptian Jon Stewart' – will be prominently featured in a new documentary titled "Tickling Giants" ... that is if the project raises the funds it needs for post-production. A campaign has been launched on Indiegogo.
The documentary is about the topic of free-speech and satire in the Middle East but centers around Youssef and his satirical television show. It is directed by Sara Taksler, who is a senior producer of Stewart's The Daily Show .
In addition to crowdfunding, the project is sponsored by Fractured Atlas, an organization with the mission of empowering artists and additionally helps to raise funds for creative projects.
According to the film's Indiegogo profile, "Tickling Giants" is "about one man standing up to an entire regime with no weapon but his biting wit. Facing great opposition, Bassem and his staff risk their safety to tell jokes."
The director says she was "drawn to this story because this is a group of people who do the same sorts of things I do as a senior producer at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, but with much higher stakes. As we’ve seen in recent events, it is horrifying to see how dangerous it can be to tell a joke."
Other crowd funding projects based in Egypt have recently received significant success. Qafeer Maker Space, a co-working space to be launched in Cairo, raised 200 percent of its original goal through regional crowd-funding site Zoomaal . Another project, Al Maqaarr, also surpassed its goal on the same site. Although Tickling Giants is not based in Egypt, we hope that it follows suit.
So will "Tickling Giants" also reach or exceed its goal? Well at the time of writing, the project has received about 40 percent of the requested $150,000. There are still a couple weeks left.
Regardless, with high-profile figures such as Youssef and a producer from The Daily Show involved, the necessary funds are bound to show up from somewhere.