Saudi Arabia's Official Submission to the Best Foreign-language Film Category at the Academy Awards in 2017
Barakah Meets Barakah Competes at Prospects of Arab Cinema at Cairo International Film Festival
Mahmoud Sabbagh's film Barakah Meets Barakah will contend at the Prospects of Arab Cinema (PAC) program at the 38th Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) (15-24 November, 2016).
The film has been released in cinemas across the UAE on September 8, 2016, and was chosen by the 60th BFI London Film Festival (5 - 16 October), run by the British Film Institute (BFI), to compete within the Laugh Gala.
Moreover, the film has also been selected to compete within the Special Presentations section at the 41st Toronto International Film Festival (8 - 18 September) following its world premiere at the 66th Berlinale where it won the Ecumenical Jury Prize within the Forum section.
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.
MAD Solutions, alongside Film Clinic-Indie Film Distribution (FCIFD), has announced the acquisition of the Arab world distribution rights to the Saudi film through the French sales agency MPM Film.
Produced by El Housh Productions, Barakah Meets Barakah stars Hisham Fageeh, Fatima Al Banawi, Sami Hifny, Abdulmajeed Alruhaidi and Khairia Nazmi. The film is written and directed by Mahmoud Sabbagh. Born in Jeddah, Mahmoud Sabbagh is a Saudi director who 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), TV series Cash (2014) and his feature debut film Barakah Meets Barakah.
Organized by the Egyptian Filmmakers Syndicate (EFMS) and supported by the CIFF, the Prospects of Arab Cinema (PAC) is an independent parallel program that is held during the CIFF. The program aims to contribute to the art of film and spur cultural conversation. The 3rd PAC is going to take place from the 16th to the 24th of November 2016 at the 38th CIFF. PAC is an Arab competition for long narrative films with eight films competing for three awards this year: the Salah Abou-Seif Prize For Best Film (EFMS Shield), plus $5000, Saad El-Deen Wahba Prize For Best Artistic Contribution (EFMS Shield), plus $3000, and Radwan El-Kashef Prize (Jury's Appreciation Certificate).
The Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), which holds its 38th edition this year (15-24 November, 2016), is the oldest cultural event in Africa and the Arab world, and the only festival in Africa and the Arab region to be accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) in Paris. This year's edition will be headed by Film Critic Dr. Magda Wassef as the Festival President, Film Critic Youssef Cherif Rizkallah as the Artistic Director, and Egyptian star Mahmoud Hemeda as the Honorary President.