release date October 07 2022
Feature film SOULA, by Salah Issaad, and short film AL-SIT, by Suzannah Mirghani, will screen during Arab Cinema Week 1st edition, from October 7th till 16th in Cinema Akil, UAE. While, THE ALLEYS, by Bassel Ghandour will open the Arab Cinema Week. MAD Solutions manages the distribution of the 3 films.
SOULA and AL-SIT will be screened twice. AL-SIT will be screened on Sunday, October 9th, at 9:45 pm (GMT+4) Dubai time and on Thursday, October 13th, at 7 pm followed by a discussion with the director. SOULA will be screened on Wednesday, October 12th, at 9:30 pm and on Saturday, October 15th, at 4:30 pm. In addition to THE ALLEYS which will open the festival on October 7th, followed by a discussion with the director.
Arab Cinema Week is an annual journey through the region where stories are the only borders to traverse, aiming to bring together the audience and filmmakers. 9 features and 6 short films will screened at the 1st edition in 10 days, representing 16 Arab states. 6 prominent Arab Film makers will attend.
The film tells the story of a single mother whose father expelled her, leaving her homeless with her baby. Soula finds herself going from one car to another with other people while looking for a safe location to stay the night. Throughout a night full of unfortunate events along the roads of Algeria, Soula tries her best to change her destiny, but fate has another saying.
The film won Black Iris Award for Best Arab Feature-Length Narrative at the 3rd edition of Amman International Film Festival – Awal Film. During its journey, it received 9 awards; the Golden award for Best Feature Film, Special Mention and Best Actress for its leading actress, Soula Bahri, at the International Oriental Film Festival of Geneva; Best Feature Film and Best Actress (Soula Bahri) at Malmo Arab Film Festival in Sweden; Best Film at Beirut International Women Film Festival; Best Film at African Asian Latin American Film Festival in Milan; Best Film, Best Cinematography (Arthur Fanget) and The Don Quijote Award prize from the IFSS—International Federation of Film Societies at AVANCA Film Festival in Portugal. Moreover, it screened at Golden Apricot International Film Festival, Armenia, and Tripoli Film Festival, Lebanon.
Written, directed, and produced by Salah Issaad, SOULA is co-written by Soula Bahri, whose life story inspired the director to turn it into a film and let Soula play the lead role. The film is produced by Issaad Film Productions (the three brothers, Taqi Eldin, Abdelghafour, and Salah Issaad). The film stars Soula Bahri, Idir Benaibouche, and Franck Yvrai.
About AL-SIT:
The film most receiving for awards in 2021, among which are Best Narrative Short at New Orleans Film Festival, USA, Best Director at Beirut Women International Film Festival, Lebanon, Audience Award, and Jury Award for Most Promising Filmmaker at Toronto Arab Film Festival, Canada, Grand Prix Award at Tampere Film Festival, Finland, Oscar qualifying. Special Mention at Malmö Arab Film Festival, Sweden, Best Script and Special Mention at Huesca International Film Festival, Spain. It also received Jury Award at Busan International Short Film Festival, Korea, Excellence in Women’s Filmmaking Award at The European Independent Film Festival, France, and SUDU for Best Short Film Quibdo Africa Film Festival.
On a cotton plantation in Sudan, 15-year-old Nafisa has a crush on Babiker but her parents have arranged her marriage to Nadir, a young Sudanese businessman who lives abroad. However, Nafisa’s grandmother Al-Sit, the powerful village matriarch, has her plans for Nafisa’s future. Will Nafisa be able to choose for herself?
The film was written and directed by Suzannah Mirghani, and co-produced by Eiman Mirghani, Co-starring Mihad Murtada, Rabeha Mohammed, Mohammed Magdi, Alsir Mahjoub, and Haram Basher. The film received the development workshop and won the production grant from Doha Film Institute and the production design grant from Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. The film received support from Highlight Productions, On Set Team for Media Productions, and Sudan Film Victory.