Written and directed by Bassel Ghandour, the film stars Emad Azmi, Baraka Rahmani, and Munther Rayahneh, among others.
Canadian Screen Music Awards (CASMA) has nominated Nasser Sharaf, a Canadian composer of Jordanian descent, in the Best Original Score for a Narrative Feature Film category for his work in Bassel Ghandour’s The Alleys.
Sharaf will compete with four other composers. The awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday, September 21.
CASMA is held by The Screen Composers Guild of Canada and consists of nine categories. In this year’s edition, remarkable Arab figures alongside Nasser Sharaf are nominated for their works including Syrian Composer Layal Watfeh for her work in Ambar 6 and The Journey as well as Jordanian Composer Suad Bushnaq for her work in the TV episode The Nature of Things: Why We Dance.
With a career spanning more than 25 years, Nasser Sharaf is best known for his ability to integrate various Western and Arab musical genres in his music composition. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Composition/ Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music in Boston. Afterwards, he earned a degree in Sound Engineering from Full Sail University. He started his career working in various studios with top-notch clients, such as Disney Corporation, Universal Studios, and Metro Goldwyn Myer to name but a few.
In 1993, Sharaf returned to Jordan where he co-founded Sharaf Music Productions. Later, in 2008, he was commissioned to compose the musical score for the musical theater production Petra Rocks in celebration of the historical city of Petra’s induction into the “New Seven Wonders of the World” and the 10th anniversary of King Abdullah II’s coronation. In addition to his work in film, television, and musical theater, Nasser composed music for Television, interactive media, and Video Games.
The film just received the Audience Award and Special Mention at Sweden’s Malmo Arab Film Festival, as well as the Grand Prix du Jury at the Annonay Film Festival, France. The Alleys was nominated for four Critics Awards for Arab Films, which were presented by the Arab Cinema Center on the fringes of the 75th Cannes Film Festival.
The Alleys was a critical success at dozens of international film festivals across Europe, including the International Film Festival Rotterdam and the BFI London Film Festival. The film also had its Arab global debut at the Red Sea International Film Festival, as well as its world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival’s Piazza Grande competition, when it became the festival’s first Jordanian feature film to be selected.
The story is set in East Amman’s gossip-ridden, hazardous neighbourhood, where a young hustler will go to any length to be with his hidden sweetheart, but her merciless mother will not allow it. When an extortionist catches the couple in the act, the mother seeks the assistance of a gangster to put an end to it all… but things don’t go as planned.
The film received the Works in Progress Post-Production Development Award of the Eastern Promises programme at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Czechia. Furthermore, it won two awards for films in post-production at the Cairo Film Connection, the co-financing platform of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) and received support from The Jordan Film Fund of the Royal Film Commission, Doha Film Institute (Qatar), and the Red Sea International Film Festival (KSA). During the development phase, the film was aided by EAVE Producers Workshop, Rawi Screenwriters lab, Dubai Film Connection, and The Sorfond Pitching Forum, which is organised by the Norwegian South Film Fund.
The film is written and directed by Bassel Ghandour and stars Emad Azmi, Baraka Rahmani, Munther Rayahneh, Maisa Abd Elhadi, Nadira Omran, and Nadim Rimawi. The film is produced by Bayt Al Shawareb (Yousef Abed Al-Nabi), The Imaginarium Films (Rula Nasser), and co-produced by Lagoonie Film Production (Shahinaz El Akkad). Mad Solutions handles the film’s distribution across the Arab World, while Elle Driver (France) handles the international sales.