LONDON: Jordanian film “The Alleys” was released in Saudi Arabia and Jordan on Monday, after earning critical acclaim and praise following screenings at film festivals worldwide. It is showing at 21 cinemas in the Kingdom and four in Jordan.
Written and directed by Bassel Ghandour, the film tells the story of a young hustler from a gossip-ridden neighborhood of East Amman, who goes to great lengths to be with his girlfriend after her mother forbids them to see each other. When an extortionist catches them together, the mother enlists the help of a gangster to put an end to the relationship but things do not go quite as planned.
The movie, which stars Emad Azmi, Baraka Rahmani, Munther Rayahneh, Maisa Abd Elhadi, Nadira Omran, and Nadim Rimawi, has received a number of prestigious awards, including: the Audience Award and Special Mention at the Malmo Arab Film Festival in Sweden; the Grand Prix du Jury at the Annonay Film Festival in France; and two awards at the Cairo Film Connection, the co-financing platform of the Cairo International Film Festival.
It has also enjoyed great critical success at dozens of other international film festivals across Europe, including the International Film Festival Rotterdam in the Netherlands and the BFI London Film Festival.
“The Alleys” had its Arab premier at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Saudi Arabia in December last year, following its world premiere in August in Switzerland at the Locarno Film Festival, in the Piazza Grande competition, where it was the first Jordanian feature film to be selected by the festival.
The movie marks the feature debut of director Ghandour, who is best known for writing and producing the 2016 Oscar-nominated and BAFTA-winning “Theeb.” “The Alleys” was released in Jordan by Arab Media Network, and in Saudi Arabia by Rowad Media.