The drama is Saudi filmmaker Moe Alatawi’s debut feature and features an all-Saudi cast led by Ra’ed Alshammari, Adwa Fahd, Muhand Alsaleh, Fatima Alsharif and Obaid Alwadaani.
Front Row Filmed Entertainment has secured all Middle East and North African rights to the Saudi Arabian feature Within Sand, which was the Jury Prize winner at the second edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival.
Front Row will release the film theatrically in Saudi Arabia in Q1 2023 under the Front Row Arabia label, its joint venture with local exhibitor Muvi Cinemas.
Within Sand also marks the first Saudi film to be shot in Neom and to be supported by Neom’s Media Industries sector.
Selected and supported by the Saudi Film Commission in a nationwide Daw’ film competition, Within Sand is being produced by Riyadh-based Alsarid Films. The script has been selected and developed by Torino Lab, which was part of the Red Sea International Film Festival programmes. Within Sand is written and directed by Saudi filmmaker Moe Alatawi and features an impressive cast of rising Saudi talents.
Within Sand is inspired by true events, and lead actor Ra’ed Alshammari was recruited from the area in which the film takes place in the north of Saudi Arabia.
Snam, a 23-year-old tobacco merchant, is ambushed by thieves in the desert, leaving him with only a dagger. He encounters a lone wolf on his desperate search for a way home, while his wife, Halla, confronts her fears of raising her child alone.
Within Sand also explores the beauty of the desert, as well as the concept of fatherhood as being not only a relationship to another individual, but also a journey of self-discovery and maturity into becoming a role model for those around you.
The film stars an all-Saudi cast led by Ra’ed Alshammari, Adwa Fahd, Muhand Alsaleh, Fatima Alsharif and Obaid Alwadaani, while a real-life wolf was brought on set for added authenticity.
Speaking about the deal, Front Row CEO Gianluca Chakra said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Within Sand team for the film’s release. We’re eager to support young Saudi filmmakers and Within Sand is the perfect example of the quality of work that they can deliver. It’s a visually stunning piece of work that deserves to be seen on the big screen.”
The film will be released theatrically in Saudi Arabia by Front Row Arabia, a joint venture between the company and local exhibitor Muvi Cinemas, and across the rest of the region by Front Row in Q1 2023.
Within Sand producer, Reem Alatawi added: “When the film premiered at the Red Sea Film Festival, we were pleased with the response from the local audience. They felt connected to the film through authentic details, the dialect and the realistic vocabulary. It has been an exciting journey that has spanned more than three years, and we are delighted to be collaborating with Front Row to bring what we have all worked on over these years to audiences throughout the MENA region.”