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Saudi film Barakah Meets Barakah released in UAE, soon Arab world

Selected to represent Saudi Arabia at the 2017 Academy Awards by competing in the Best Foreign-Language Film category, Barakah Meets Barakah is released in UAE

Ahram Online , Friday 9 Sep 2016
Barakah Meets Barakah
(Photo: still from Barakah Meets Barakah)
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Saudi film Barakah Meets Barakah was released in cinemas across the UAE on Thursday, and will be released throughout the Arab world in the future, according to the distributors.

At the end of August, Barakah Meets Barakah, the debut film by Saudi director Mahmoud Sabbagh, was selected to represent Saudi Arabia at the 2017 Academy Awards in the Best Foreign-Language Film category.

MAD Solutions, a film distribution and PR company, which is collaborating with Film Clinic-Indie Film Distribution (FCIFD) to distribute the film, announced the film's release in a press release and said it had finalised agreements with five prominent Arab media organisations, including Sayidaty, Aljarida (Kuwait), Al-Akhbar (Lebanon), FilFan website and Empire Arabic magazine.

According to the press release, Barakah Meets Barakah tells the story of “two lovers who are united in an environment hostile to dating of any kind. He is Barakah, the municipal civil servant from Jeddah, who is also an amateur actor in a theatrical troupe. She is Barakah, a wild beauty, who functions as a crowd-puller for her stylish mother's boutique and runs her own widely-seen vlog. They both defy customs and traditions, as well as the religious police, using modern communication technologies and traditional dating methods.”

The film had its world premiere at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival in February 2016 where it won the Ecumenical Jury Prize within the Forum section.

The film has also been selected to compete within the Special Presentations section at the 41st Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from 8 to 18 September.

The 60th BFI London Film Festival, scheduled to take place in October, announced that the film will also compete in its LaughGala.

Written and directed by Mahmoud Sabbagh, Barakah Meets Barakah stars Fatima Al Banawi, Hisham Fageeh, Sami Hifny, Abdulmajeed Alruhaidi and Khairia Nazmi.

According to MAD Solutions, Sabbagh was born in Jeddah and studied Documentary Filmmaking in New York.

He later worked as an independent film director and producer in Saudi Arabia. His repertoire includes the documentary The Story of Hamza Shahata (2013) and TV series Cash (2014).

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