Middle East-based distributor and producer Front Row Filmed Entertainment has joined the team of producers on satirical coming-of-age comedy feature Abdelinho. Front Row will also represent all MENA rights. International sales are with Urban Sales.
The Arab-language feature stars Ali Suliman (Jack Ryan, The Last Planet, The Attack, Houda’s Salon) and is currently in post-production with a view to being ready by the end of the year.
Produced and directed by Hicham Ayouch (Fevers), and co-produced by Canal+ International, Chadi Abdo’s Hecat (The Cave), FreeMonkeyz and Sihamou Productions, the story follows the titular young Moroccan who’s fascinated by everything having to do with Brazil, to the point where he speaks the language fluently, dances the samba regularly and is head-over-heels in love with Maria, a telenovelas heroine. However, his world is turned upside down when an ultra-conservative televangelist arrives.
Front Row is boarding the project as it continues to bolster its production slate and following major success with the Arabic language remake of Perfect Strangers.
Says Front Row CEO Gianluca Chakra, “We’re proud to be joining such a team. Hicham is an innate storyteller with an understanding of the region’s reality, but also its massive potential. Abdelinho is a unique film that underscores how fanaticism can limit dreams and creativity, to the point of debilitating societies. Ultimately the film injects positivity and hope within our cultures here, something which we always strive for particularly in the Middle East. Given our position in the market, we will do everything possible to get this film out and be seen by as many eyeballs we can reach.”
Adds Ayouch, ”Abdelinho is a comedy and a contemporary tale, with a strong message about the importance of living your dreams and being free. We will follow the journey of a character who will have to fight his society, just to be himself. I hope this film will create passionate and constructive discussions in the Arab world regarding how we deal with people’s differences and freedom of conscience. I’m very happy to collaborate with Front Row whose enthusiasm about Abdelinho is wonderful, they fell in love with the film and I’m sure they’ll do a fantastic job”.