Lagoonie Fim Production and Lagoonie KSA signed an agreement in Cairo on Saturday evening to produce three Saudi feature films that support women, which will release in several Arab countries, including Egypt.
The agreement was signed by Lagoonie Film Production’s Founder and renowned producer Shahinaz El-Akkad and her Saudi counterpart Salah Abu Hummus — Head of Lagoonie KSA.
El-Akkad brings to the table a wealth of experience and connections that ensure the success of any project she gets involved in. In recent years, the accomplished producer has worked on many hit Arab films, including BARRA EL MANHAG, FARQ KHEBRA, ALAM, THE ALLEYS, HUDA’S SALON, DAUGHTERS OF ABDULRAHMAN, FEATHERS, A'AZ EL WELD, RAS EL SANA, and AMIRA.
The films included in the agreement are ABU QAMRA, which is written by Sabreen El-Selimany and is based on an actual story of a Saudi artist and his relationship with his daughter Amar; Syrian writer Lana Jundi’s BALLERINA, which tells the story of the first influential Saudi ballerina dancer; and DETOX by Egyptian writer Mustafa Al-Barbari — a humanitarian project that is being workshopped in Saudi Arabia.
“I’m known for my direct support for women's issues in my previous work, but this time, we’re shedding light on realistic stories we were previously unaware of within Saudi society,” said El-Akkad to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.
Commenting on BALLERINA, she added: “Currently, we’re still in the research and preparation phase. It’s a sheer human story in which we shed light on the Saudi family’s attitude toward the art of ballet, how older generations rejected the idea of their daughters becoming professional ballet dancers, and how that perspective shifted once they saw their daughters dancing.”
Egyptian-Saudi relations within the context of art have been undergoing a revitalization process in recent years, with the kingdom’s Riyadh Season hosting a significant number of Egyptian plays starring Ahmed Helmy, Ahmed El-Sakka, and Hassan El-Raddad.
Also, ALHAMOUR H.A. was recently released in Egypt, marking the first time a Saudi film was released theatrically in Egyptian theaters.
“‘Never send a boy to do a man's job’ is an Egyptian proverb. So, when I thought about entering the field of film production, visiting the Hollywood of the Middle East was a no-brainer. And after getting the lay of the land, I decided to cooperate with Shahinaz El-Akkad,” said Abu Hummus.
“We decided to shoot ABU QAMRA in Jeddah, while BALLERINA will be shot in several places in Saudi Arabia. As for DETOX, we won’t be revealing any details about that project for now,” he clarified.
“The point of all this is to correct some of the misconceptions and perceptions about Saudi society, which has been very open for many years.”