Magazine article Screen International

Toronto: Alma Cinema Takes Palestinian Debut 'In between', Scores Deals on Sundance Hit

Magazine article Screen International

Toronto: Alma Cinema Takes Palestinian Debut 'In between', Scores Deals on Sundance Hit

Article excerpt

Paris-based Alma Cinema has picked up sales on Palestinian director Maysaloun Hamoud's debut feature In Between (Bar Bahar) ahead of its world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 8-18) on Sept 11.

The film follows a group of young Palestinians, hailing from Arab towns and villages lying within Israeli borders, living in Tel Aviv.

At the heart of the story are party animals Leila and Salma whose hedonistic lifestyles are disrupted by the arrival of family friend Noor, a devout Muslim girl from the Arab town of Umm al-Fahm.

Alma head of sales and acquisitions Sara May described the work as an unprecedented portrait of the challenges and contradictions facing young Palestinian women born and living in Israel.

"Maysaloun deals with the subject in a very subtle, entertaining way. It's fun. I think it could be a real crowd-pleaser," said May.

In Between will premiere next week in TIFF's Contemporary World Cinema section before heading to San Sebastian's to screen in the New Directors line-up.

Israeli filmmaker Shlomi Elkabetz - who was at Toronto in 2014 with Gett: The Trial Of Viviane Amalem - produced Bar Bahar through his Tel Aviv-based production company Deux Beaux Garçons Films (DBG Films) alongside Sandrine Brauer of Paris-based En Compagnie Des Lamas.

First sales on Sundance hit As You Are

Alma Cinema officially launched in May as a joint venture between Oscar-nominated producer Charles Gillibert (Mustang) and French distributor Ad Vitam.

The partners hired experienced sales and acquisition executive Sara May, formerly of TF1 and Embankment Films, to head up the new structure.

May's first acquisition was US director Miles Joris Peyrafitte's drama As You Are, which she picked up after its well-received premiere at Sundance.

The 1990s-set feature about two young misfits who form a bond after their single parents get together will get its international premiere in competition at San Sebastian. …

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