The film has made over $18 million at the US box office to date and is strongly predicted to pick up Oscar nominations in several categories including best director, best actress and best supporting actress.
Dubai-based film distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment will bring Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee, The Farewell, to UAE cinemas on October 24. The Farewell is produced by high-profile US studio A24, whose titles include Academy Award winners Moonlight, Room and Lady Bird.
The film primarily has a Chinese cast and features Crazy Rich Asians’ star Awkwafina in the lead. This is director Lulu Wang’s second feature and is based loosely on personal experiences with her family.
The Farewell follows a Chinese family who, when they discover their beloved grandmother has only a short while left to live, decide to keep her in the dark and schedule an impromptu wedding before she passes. Billi (Awkwafina), feeling like a fish out of water in her home country, struggles with the family’s decision to hide the truth from her grandmother.
Front Row built its reputation as an indie cinema distribution powerhouse in the region, having released titles as Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer featuring Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell, Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here starring Joaquin Phoenix and Darren Aronofsky’s Oscar winning Black Swan.
Speaking about his company’s approach, Front Row CEO Gianluca Chacra said: “We have always prided ourselves in nurturing support for the independent cinema scene across the region, introducing audiences here to interesting and complex films as an alternative to the tentpole studio releases. The Farewell is a beautiful film that has wowed audiences across the globe, and we are so happy to give our own audience a chance to see it in cinemas here.”
Recently, Front Row has expanded into development with European-based partners Rocket Science. They will be creating original Arabic content for TV and theatrical, with the newly announced Arabic remake of the International box office hit Intouchables currently in the works.
The Farewell will screen at Dubai-based arthouse Cinema Akil on October 25. It will also be screened at VOX, Reel and NOVO Cinemas.