MAD Solutions handles the film’s distribution across the Arab World, while Elle Driver (France) handles the international sales.
The New York Times newspaper has selected Jordanian director Bassel Ghandour’s debut feature film The Alleys, along with four other films — as one of this month’s Five International Movies to Stream Now. The film is currently streaming on Netflix.
The other films are Exile, Another World, Crystal Swan and Myanmar Dairies.
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 New York Times described the film and wrote: “Somewhere between a mafia movie and a comedy of errors, The Alleys turns all its characters into casualties of chance; every twist in this movie is unpredictable because every character is both morally dubious and somewhat idiotic.”
The film received the Audience Award and a special mention from the Malmo Arab Film Festival in Sweden in addition to the Grand Prix du Jury at the Festival du Premier Film d’Annonay in France. It was also nominated for four awards at the Critics’ Awards for Arab Films, which are presented by the Arab Cinema Center on the sidelines of the 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 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 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.
It 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.