The First Jordanian Feature Film to Ever Compete at the Festival
Cairo - Egypt | Thursday, September 2, 2021:
Jordanian film The Alleys, by Bassel Ghandour, has competed in the Piazza Grande section of the
74th Locarno Festival. The film was screened at the iconic Piazza Grande, an enormous outdoor
screen in the middle of a Renaissance square that can accommodate up to 8,000 viewers. The
Alleys was the first Jordanian feature film to ever compete at the festival, and was the first
Arab film to participate in the Piazza Grande since Youssef Chahine’s film Destiny in 2008,
which was screened in his honor.
The Alleys competed for the Variety Piazza Grande Award, which was presented by Variety Magazine
to assist the international career of a film in the selection, the Audience Award, and the
Swatch First Feature Award. Bassel Ghandour is known for co-writing and producing “Theeb”, which
won Outstanding British Debut at the 2016 BAFTAs, and was nominated for Best Foreign Language
Film at both the Academy Awards and the BAFTAs.
The Alleys is directed and written by Bassel Ghandour and stars Emad Azmi, Munther Rayahneh,
Maisa Abd Elhadi, Baraka Rahmani, Nadira Omran and Nadim Rimawi. The film is produced by Bayt Al
Shawareb (Yousef Abed Al-Nabi), The Imaginarium Films (Rula Nasser) and co-produced by Lagoonie
Film Production (Shahinaz El Akkad). MAD Solutions handles the film’s sales and distribution
across the Arab World, while Elle Driver (France) will handle the international sales.
Previously, the film received the Works in Progress Post-Production Development Award of the
Eastern Promises program at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Further, it won two
awards for films in post-production at the 7th Cairo Film Connection, the co-financing platform
of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) and received support from The Jordan Film Fund
of the Royal Film Commission, Doha Film Institute (Qatar), and the Red Sea Film Festival (KSA).
During development, the film was aided by EAVE Producers Workshop, Rawi Screenwriters lab, Dubai
Film Connection, and The Sorfond Pitching Forum.
In a gossip-ridden, violent neighborhood in East Amman, a young hustler will stop at nothing to
be with his secret lover, but her merciless mother won’t have it. When an extortionist catches
the couple in the act, the mother solicits a gangster to put a stop to it all... things don’t go
Director Bassel Ghandour co-wrote and produced Theeb, winner of the BAFTA award for Outstanding
British Debut and the 2016 nominee for Best Foreign Language Film at both the Academy Awards and
the BAFTAs. The Alleys is his directorial debut.