Saudi Arabia has selected the film as its national submission to the Oscars 2021 following a multi-award-winning global festival season.
Netflix has released Image Nation Abu Dhabi’s critically acclaimed feature film Scales (Sayidat al Bahar) throughout the region, following an award-winning festival season and cinema releases in Saudi Arabia and the USA.
Scales explores the changing role of women in society through the allegorical, magical-realist tale of Hayat, a young girl who refuses to be sacrificed to mysterious sea creatures by her village. Presented in black and white, the poetic film follows the unfolding social, familial and personal consequences of Hayat’s choice to defy tradition and walk her own path.
After premiering in 2019, Scales has been shown at more than a dozen competitive global festivals, winning the prestigious Verona Film Club award for innovative filmmaking at the Venice International Film Festival, Best Picture at Singapore International Film Festival. Saudi Arabia selected the film as its national submission to the Oscars 2021 following a multi-award-winning global festival season, including receiving the Best Film and Best Actress awards this week at the Saudi Film Festival.
Scales was produced by Image Nation Abu Dhabi, which has multiple productions streaming on Netflix. The film joins Image Nation’s acclaimed Arabic-language productions Zinzana, The Worthy and Justice, already available worldwide.
The film stars newcomer Basima Hajjar as Hayat, alongside Ashraf Barhom (Coriolanus, Clash of the Titans, The Kingdom), Yagoub Alfarhan (Ekhtraq, Bedoon Filter, Love Without Limits) and Fatima Al Taei (star of Image Nation’s courtroom drama Justice). The film was produced by Paul Miller and Stephen Strachan of Abu Dhabi-based Film Solutions and Rula Nasser of Imaginarium Films, with executive producers Mohamed Al-Daradji and Majid Al-Ansari.