release date September 01 2017
An Extensive Festival Tour for Shirin Nashat's Looking for Oum Kulthum in Venice, Toronto and London
Shirin Nashat's film Looking for Oum Kulthum is having an extensive festival tour as it has been selected to screen at the 61st BFI London Film Festival (October 4-15) within the Experimeneta Special Presentation section. Currently, the film is taking part at the 74th Venice International Film Festival (August 30- September 9), where it is competing within the Giornate Degli Autori (Venice Days) section with the attendance of its star Yasmin Raeis. The film is also selected to screen within the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) (September 7-17) in the Contemporary World Cinema section.

The film follows the character of Oum Kulthum as a woman who was able to break down societal, religious, political and national barriers in her eastern society. The film was shot in Morocco and Austria and it is a co-production between German, Austrian, Italian and Moroccan companies.

Yasmin's role in the film brings her back to the limelight at major festivals after she won 6 awards for her role in late director Mohamed Khan's Factory Girl, including: the Best Actress Award at the Dubai International Film Festival, Best Actress Award at the Malmo Arab Film Festival in Sweden, Best Actress Award at the 18th Egyptian National Film Festival, Best Actress Award at the 41st Egyptian Film Association Festival, Best Actress Award at the Silk Road Film Festival in Dublin, Ireland, and most recently, a Special Mention from the Jury of Feature Film at the International Oriental Film Festival in Geneva.

First launched in 1976 as a collection of films from other festivals - a "Festival of Festivals" - the Toronto International Film Festival has become one of the most beloved cinematic events in the world, universally regarded as an ideal platform for filmmakers to launch their careers and to premiere their new work. The Festival has been frequently described as "the most important film festival in the world - the largest, the most influential, the most inclusive.

Run by the British Film Institute (BFI), the BFI London Film Festival is one of the oldest 20 festivals according to its starting date. The first round of the festival was launched in 1953 with an aim to become the 'festival of festivals'. The BFI London Film Festival is known for its selectiveness for choosing the best films by the best directors from all over the world. The average number of films that compete at the festival have reached over 300 films from 50 countries around the world. It is considered one of the top 5 international festivals that attract audiences as its ticket sales have surpassed 160 thousand tickets. It is also known for hosting the biggest stars of the European and international cinema, in addition to organizing events that allow the audience to interact with them.