10 feb 2022 mk2 Films boards ‘NEZOUH’ by Syrian Director Soudade Kaadan

An allegorical tale of female emancipation set amidst the Syrian conflict in Damascus, “NEZOUH” tells the story of a family who decides to stay in the besieged area.

When a bombshell rips a giant hole in the roof of the building where 14-year-old Zeina and her family live, they are suddenly exposed to the outside world. One day, a young boy living nearby lowers a rope through the opening and Zeina discovers her first taste of freedom. Whilst her father is determined to stay in his home and not become a refugee, this new window opens up an unimaginable world of possibilities to her and her mother who now face a dilemma of whether to stay or leave.

“We are thrilled to be working with Soudade Kaadan, whose rich metaphorical voice brings a new perspective to the Syrian conflict. Through the eyes of one family, we experience not only the frustrations and fears of living in a besieged city, but the hopes and dreams of a teenage girl looking to the future, and the resolve of a proud patriarch who refuses to give in to the fate of becoming a refugee”, says Fionnuala Jamison, Managing Director of mk2 Films.

“’Nezouh’ in Arabic is the displacement of souls, water and people; it is the displacement of light and darkness. “Nezouh” tries to talk about this inevitable invasion of light and hope in the midst of this chaos”, says director Soudade Kaadan.

Inspired from her own experience, this tale of hope born out of chaos in wartime is the follow-up to Soudade Kaadan’s “The Day I Lost My Shadow”, awarded in Venice with the Lion of the Future for Best Debut Film and her Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning short, “Aziza”.

“Nezouh” was winner of ARTE KINO PRIZE, and Sorfond Prize at Atelier de Cannes, Cinefondation 2019 and Winner of the Baumi Award for script development in 2018. The film features newcomer Hala Zein and stars Kinda Alloush, Samer Al Masri, Nizar Alani. The Director of Photography is award winner Hélène Louvart (Lazzaro Felice, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Murina, Pina) and Burak Kanbir. Principal photography was on location in Turkey and line produced by Emre Oskay of Sky Films.

Currently in post-production, the film is produced by Berkeley Media Group and Zajal Productions in association with Ex Nihilo. The producers are Soudade Kaadan, Yu-Fai Suen and Marc Bordure. Financed by BFI (awarding National Lottery funding), Film4, Stars Collective, executive producers are Lizzie Francke for the BFI, Ben Coren, Farhana Bhula and Daniel Battsek for Film4 and Donna Gigliotti, Peter Luo for Stars Collective. Distribution partners include Pyramide Distribution, Canal+ and Cine+ and MAD Solutions. International Sales handled by mk2 Films, contact: intlsales@mk2.com

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