Barakah Meets Barakah Picked for Toronto International Film Festival

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After Winning the Ecumenical Jury Prize at Berlinale

Barakah Meets Barakah Picked for Toronto International Film Festival

Saudi director Mahmoud Sabbagh's film Barakah Meets Barakah has been selected for the 41st Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in Canada. The 11-day long film festival (8 -18 September) will screen the film as part of the Special Presentations section. This comes after the film's win of the Ecumenical Jury Prize at the 66th Berlinale within the Forum section earlier this year.

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.

Landed as the first Saudi feature at the 66th Berlinale within the Forum section, Barakah Meets Barakah
received the Ecumenical Jury Prize in recognition for the film's role in sensitizing viewers to spiritual, human and social values. The film also participated at the 63rd Sydney Film Festival last June.

Produced by El Housh Productions, Barakah Meets Barakah stars Fatima Al Banawi, Hisham Fageeh,
Sami Hifny, Abdulmajeed Alruhaidi and Khairia Nazmi. The film is written and directed by Mahmoud Sabbagh. 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.

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 Story of Hamza Shahata (2013), TV series Cash (2014) and his feature debut film Barakah Meets Barakah.