3 November 2019: Image Nation Abu Dhabi’s latest feature film, Scales, has received the prestigious Bronze Tanit at the Carthage Film Festival in Tunisia following its Middle Eastern premiere last week. This is the second award the film has received during its successful festival run, after it was awarded the Verona Film Club Award at the Venice International Film Festival Critics Week in September.
Honored to have won the first award for a Saudi film making its debut at the festival, writer-director Shahad Ameen extended her sincere gratitude to CFF organizing committee for giving her the opportunity to screen her feature film to Arab audience for the first time: “I’m sure the Tunisian audience appreciated my bold and symbolic directorial approach of highlighting women’s social suffering and agonies”.
Scales (Sayidat Al Bahr) is now set to screen the Rabat International Author Film Festival (16-22 Nov. 2019) and 41st edition of the Cairo International Film Festival, which will be the first ever Arab film festival to sign on the 50/50 by 2020 Initiative – a global gender parity campaign urging all film festivals to adhere to woman empowerment and fair representation in filmmaking industry by 2020.
The film competed at the prestigious BFI London Festival in October as part of the Sutherland competition, which recognizes the most original and imaginative directorial debut. It continues to travel the globe and had its North American premiere at The New Wave festival at LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art last month.
Scales is a mystical, black and white fantasy film about a strong-willed young girl who stands alone against her family to overturn her village’s tradition of sacrificing female children to mysterious sea creatures. It was produced by Image Nation Abu Dhabi, the award-winning Abu Dhabi-based film and television company that has built its reputation on breaking boundaries and fostering creativity.
Shot on location in Oman, Scales stars Basima Hajjar as Hayat, alongside Ashraf Barhom (Coriolanus, Clash of the Titans, The Kingdom), Yagoub Alfarhan (Ekhtraq, Bedoon Filter, Love Without Limits) and Fatima Al Taei (star of Image Nation’s courtroom drama Justice). The film was produced by Paul Miller and Stephen Strachan of Abu Dhabi-based Film Solutions and Rula Nasser of Imaginarium Films, with executive producers Mohamed Al-Daradji and Majid Al-Ansari.
About Shahad Ameen
Writer-director Shahad Ameen was born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Video Production and Film Studies from the University of West London, and also holds a degree in Screenwriting. Her short films include Our Own Musical and Leila’s Window (2011), which showed at the Gulf Film Festival and was named Best Film at the Saudi Film Festival.
Her short film Eye & Mermaid (2013) premiered at Dubai International Film Festival 2013 and was selected for competition at Toronto International Film Festival 2014, Stockholm Film Festival 2014 and Kortfilmfestivalen 2014 in Norway. Eye & Mermaid was awarded First Prize in the Emirates Film Competition and Best Cinematography at the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival 2014 and was the winner of the Best Fiction, International Competition at the NDU International Film Festival 2014. Scales was picked as a finalist for the prestigious IWC award at the Dubai International Film Festival 2015. Scales is Shahad’s debut feature film.
- ‘Our Own Musical’ (2009)
- ‘Leila’s Window’ (2011)
- ‘Eye & Mermaid’ (2013)
- ‘Scales’ (2019)
Image Nation Abu Dhabi Overview
Image Nation Abu Dhabi is a leading and award-winning content and entertainment company in MENA. Well-reputed for breaking boundaries and unleashing imagination, Image Nation is specialized in creating feature films, TV series, documentaries and entertainments that meet the needs of spectators world-wide. It is the first UAE company to have multiple productions stream globally on Netflix. It has made a significant success throughout the world as its productions were screened in more than 400 international film festivals and received some of the industry’s highest honors and awards including two Academy Awards, a BAFTA and an Emmy.
Image Nation has a strong track record of producing high-quality productions combining local talent and international expertise. Committed to supporting innovative thoughts and nourishing young talents, Image Nation launched its inspiring initiative ‘Arab Film Studio’ that provides filmmaking talents with practical training to achieve their aspirations.
Image Nation’s mission is to help build the film and entertainment industry across the GCC and MENA in line with Abu Dhabi Vision to build a competitive, sustainable and globally open economy. Image Nation looks forward to enabling all participants in its productions to become guardians of culture and change leaders.