Co-produced by MENA-based Front Row Filmed Entertainment and Egypt's Cats Films, the film is directed by Saudi filmmaker Jawaher Alamri.
Saudi short drama The Last Dismissal will premiere in the upcoming edition of the Cairo International Film Festival, running from November 15 to 24, 2023.
Exploring themes of autonomy and conformity, The Last Dismissal is Jawaher Alamari’s third short film. Her previous work, Mujalasat Elkun, premiered as part of an omnibus feature titled Becoming at the Cairo International Film Festival in 2021. Alamri had also directed the award-winning Sadeya Left Sultan and produced the Saudi short The Girls Who Burned the Night.
The Last Dismissal follows the story of a teenage girl, Aljadel (played by Rajaae), as she comes to terms with her grief around the passing of her best friend, when forced to attend an activity on ‘shrouding of the dead’ at her middle school. While watching a friend being shrouded, she is triggered into action and leads an abrupt but formative objection in an act of rebellion. The short film stars an all-Saudi cast led by Ghada Aboud, Rajaae, Aisha Al Refaey and Saada Alzahrany.
Speaking about the premiere, Gianluca Chakra, Front Row’s CEO said: “We couldn’t be happier to be working with Jawaher on The Last Dismissal. The film explores some heavy themes related to authority, control, power and its rebellious messaging is of extreme importance. It is also essential for us to support young Arab and Saudi filmmakers in a bid to build a pluralistic cinematic ecosystem in the region moving forward. Jawaher is one of the region’s talented young directors and her unique voice echoes throughout her work. We can’t wait for people to watch it.”
The film’s director Jawaher Alamri said: “I’m very glad that Front Row believed in my talent and my film and supported me. I can’t wait to share this film to the world, where I present a piece of art dedicated to pent-up emotions and what could happen when these emotions explode.”
Commenting on the film’s theme, Norah Al Khateeb, CEO of Cats Films said: “It was truly a privilege working with Jawaher on The Last Dismissal. An immensely beautiful story about a female protagonist who decided to shatter old community taboos, which were reflected in the corrupt school management. Jawaher has brilliantly portrayed her personal story in a way that is both profound and inspiring. The Last Dismissal was our very first Saudi film to produce but certainly not the last one.”
Following its festival premiere in Cairo, The Last Dismissal will be screening in several international film festivals globally throughout 2024, with Front Row also handling worldwide distribution.