The Arab world premiere of The Alleys at Red Sea International Film Festival was held last Thursday, in the presence of the film’s director Bassel Ghandour and the cast members (Emad Azmi, Baraka Rahmani, Munther Rayahneh, Maisa Abd Elhadi, Mohamed El Gezawi). Also, producers; Yousef Abed Al-Nabi, Rula Nasser and Shahinaz El Akkad along with a wide array of stars were in attendance. The film saw a massive turnout while screening at the festival where the second screening was held on Friday.
Recently, the film’s poster and teaser trailer were released. Also, it was announced that the film will screen at International Film Festival Rotterdam, marking the first Jordanian film to be selected at the festival.
The Alleys landed its world premiere at Locarno Festival’s iconic Piazza Grande, the biggest outdoor screen in Europe, marking the first Jordanian feature film to join the festival and the first Arab film to participate in the Piazza Grande section since 2008.
The Alleys had sold-out tickets via the festival’s ticket-booking link at BFI London Film Festival where it competed for Sutherland Award, for the most creative feature directorial debut. This is the first presence for Jordan at the BAFTA award in the past 7 years; since Theeb (2014), winner of BAFTA award for Outstanding Debut and the 2016 Oscar nominee.
The film is set 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 as planned.
Previously, the film received the Works in Progress Post-Production Development Award of the Eastern Promises program at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Czechia. Furthermore, 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, which is organized by The Norwegian South Film Fund.
The Alleys is written and directed by Bassel Ghandour and stars Emad Azmi, Baraka Rahmani, Munther Rayahneh, Maisa Abd Elhadi, 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) handles international sales.
Director Bassel Ghandour co-wrote and produced Theeb, winner of the BAFTA award for Outstanding British Debut, in 2016, and the nominee for Best Foreign Language Film at both the Academy Awards and the BAFTAs. The Alleys is his directorial debut, and he is also the film’s writer. The Alleys world premiered at the Locarno Festival.