release date April 22 2024
Two MAD films to screen as part of Alliance Française d'Arabie Saoudite's Francophone Film Week
MAD Solutions will be sending two feature films from its impressive distribution slate to screen at the Francophone Film Week in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh; organized by the Alliance Française d'Arabie Saoudite, the event is set to take place from April 21st to the 23rd at Tuwaiq Garden.
Founded in 2010, the Alliance Française of Saudi Arabia is the official French language institute and cultural center in Saudi Arabia, with five operating branches across Saudi. The Alliance Française's goal is to promote and facilitate French language learning and to build bridges between French speakers and Saudi culture.
The participating films are Marya Zarif and André Kadi’s DOUNIA AND THE PRINCESS OF ALEPPO and Ismaël Ferroukhi’s MICA, both films will be screened on Monday, April 22nd, with the first one screening at 7 pm and the latter at 9 pm. Both films will be screened in their original languages with English subtitles.
Starting us off is Marya Zarif and André Kadi’s Canadian-French animation DOUNIA AND THE PRINCESS OF ALEPPO, which world premiered as part of the Official Competition of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival and has since screened at over 60 international and Arab film festivals, including the Red Sea, Marrakech, Cinemamed, Hong Kong Kids, Ajyal, Tromsø, Athens, Thessaloniki, and New York Children film festivals.
The film also recently featured at the Arab Film Days Film Festival in Norway and received an Asia Pacific Screen Award nomination for Best Animated Feature Film and a Prix Iris nomination for Most Successful Film Outside Quebec at the 25th Quebec Cinema Awards.
The animated feature follows six-year-old Dounia, who, with a few nigella seeds delicately held in the palm of her hand, embarks on a journey from Aleppo, guided by the Princess of Aleppo, as they set off towards a new and unknown world.
Written by Marya Zarif and lensed by Marie-Michelle Laflamme, the film stars Rachaf Ataya, Elsa Mardorissian, Manuel Tadros, and Raïa Haidar as voice actors. The film was produced by Judith Beauregard of Tobo Studio.
As for Ismaël Ferroukhi’s French-Morrocan drama MICA — which was nominated for the Golden Star Award for Feature Narrative Films at the 2020 Gouna Film Festival — the film previously toured several festivals across the world, including the Angoulême Francophone Film Festival, the Cinemania Francophone Film Festival and the Arab Film Festival in Seoul.
The film follows Mica, a child from a shantytown who finds himself propelled as a handyman in a Casablanca tennis club frequented by the Moroccan nomenklatura. Ready to do anything to change his destiny, he is noticed by Sophia — an ex-tennis champion who takes him under her wing.
MICA — which is available to stream on SHAHID — is directed by Ismaël Ferroukhi, who co-wrote it with Fadette Drouard, lensed by Eva Sehet, edited by Elif Uluengin, and produced by Lamia Chraibi and Ulysse Payet.
The film stars Sabrina Ouazani, Azelarab Kaghat, and Zakaria Inan, with production handled by La Prod and Elzévir Films.