Sayidat Al Bahr is a story of Hayat, a young girl living in poor fishing village that believes in sacrificing daughters to the sea creatures who inhabit the nearby waters. Hayat however, manages to get saved by her father, but grows up being considered a curse to everyone around her. Still, Hayat fights for what is right.
The film, which has been made in the UAE by Abu Dhabi’s Image Nation, is now set to have its world-wide premiere at the prestigious Venice Film Festival. Written and directed by Saudi Arabian writer Shahad Ameen, Sayidat Al Bahr or Scales has been shot in Oman, focusing on the role of women in society in the fantasy genre.
“Scales’ tells a visceral story about growing up as a woman in a patriarchal society, offering an allegorical take on a universal theme that will resonate with audiences around the world,” Ameen said in a released statement.
The director has previously had the opportunity to showcase her shot film titled “Eye & Mermaid” and the Dubai Film Festival in 2013. Born and bought up in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Ameen has presented her work internationally at festivals in film festivals in Toronto and Stockholm. Sayidat Al Bahr is her first full-length feature film.
Ben Ross, the chief content officer of Image Nation said, “’Scales’ is part of Image Nation’s efforts to expand our slate to encompass more intriguing, specialty films alongside our more commercial projects. We foresee that ‘Scales’ will be well-received on the festival circuit. This is a film that brings profound insights into contemporary culture.”
Not only is this a significant milestone in putting Arab talent on the world map, but it is also a step forward in harnessing the country’s local talent and motivating them. The Venice Film Festival is considered amongst the top events for the crème de la crème of cinema, a testing ground of sorts for potential award-winning films.
Sayidat Al Bahr will open at the Venice Critics’ Week competition next month in Venice, which will take place from August 28 – September 7.