Sharjah Art Foundation’s online screening series, organised in collaboration with the digital film archiving platform Habibi Collective, will conclude this Friday, 26 June 2020, at 8:30 pm (GMT +4)
with a screening of Image Nation Abu Dhabi’s award-winning feature film Scales (2019) from Saudi filmmaker Shahad Ameen. This is the first time the film will be screened for audiences ahead of its theatrical release later this year, as the film continues its successful festival run. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the director Ameen, and the Habibi Collective founder, Róisín Tapponi.
Set in a dystopian landscape, the black-and-white film explores contemporary feminist issues through the story of Hayat, a strong-willed young girl who lives in a poor fishing village governed by a dark tradition. Every family must give one daughter to the sea creatures who inhabit the waters nearby. In turn, the sea creatures are hunted by the men of the village. Saved from this fate by her father, Hayat is considered a curse on the village and grows up an outcast. Nevertheless, she does not surrender to this fate and fights for a place within her village. After her mother gives birth to a baby boy, Hayat must accept the brutal custom of giving herself to the sea creatures or find a way to escape.
Described by The Hollywood Reporter as a ‘a timeless magical realist fable with a contemporary feminist message’, Scales had its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival Critics Week, where it was awarded the Verona Film Club Award for most innovative film. From there the film has screened at BFI London Film Festival, New Wave Film Festival in Los Angeles and selected to screen at SXSW. Scales picked up further accolades for Best Film and Best Director at Carthage Film Festival, Singapore International Festival and the Cairo International Film Festival in 2019.
This is the first feature film by Ameen, who obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Video Production and Film Studies from the University of West London, and also holds a degree in Screenwriting. Born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the writer-director is known for her acclaimed short films Our Own Musical (2009), Leila’s Window (2011) and Eye & Mermaid (2013) which were screened at festivals around the world and received various awards.
Scales [Sayidat Al Bahr] (2019)
Director: Shahad Ameen
UAE, Iraq, KSA
Narrative | 75 minutes
Arabic with English subtitles
The screening can be accessed at 8:30 pm through the Image Nation Abu Dhabi platform by registering on this link. After registration, audiences will receive a link to the screening. As the film cannot be streamed on demand, viewers who join the streaming at a later time will not be able to watch the film from the beginning. The screening will be followed by a live discussion and Q&A session with the director of the film, Ameen, and the Habibi Collective founder, Róisín Tapponi.
For more information, visit sharjahart.org.