Variance Films will release 'Scales' to theatres across North America later this year, according to the deal.
Variance Films has acquired all North American theatrical rights from Image Nation Abu Dhabi to Shahad Ameen’s award-winning debut feature, Scales, following the film’s successful international festival run.
Written and directed by Saudi Arabian filmmaker Ameen, Scales is a feminist parable set in a dystopian landscape. It follows the story of a strong-willed young girl, Hayat, whose poor fishing village is governed by a dark tradition: every family must give one daughter to the mermaid-like sea creatures who inhabit the waters, to ensure the village can continue their fishing expeditions. When Hayat’s father refuses, the girl becomes a pariah, considered a curse by the village and urged to sacrifice herself – but Hayat has her owns plans for her destiny.
Director Shahad Ameen said of the announcement: “I have been overwhelmed with the global response for my film and how well it has been received at numerous festivals. My only wish throughout this journey has been for people to continue to see it and that the film continues to open up more conversations about beliefs and gender roles – I’m so pleased that Variance will allow my film to continue its journey throughout North America.”
Scales premiered at the Venice International Film Festival’s Critics Week, where it won the Verona Film Club Award, a prize for the film deemed most innovative. The film was scheduled to play at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival. Shot on location in Oman, Scales has received plaudits for its ravishing imagery and cinematography and a story that delves into genre elements while remaining fiercely grounded in reality.
Ben Ross, Chief Content Officer at Image Nation Abu Dhabi said: “We are excited to be partnering with Variance to bring this film to a larger North American audience and bring this gripping story of female empowerment to theatres in the future. Scales brings profound insights into contemporary culture and we hope that it will bring further recognition of the region’s growing cultural maturity and sophistication.”
“Scales is a powerful, visually arresting film that needs to be seen on the big screen, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to make that happen,” said Dylan Marchetti, founder of Variance. “Shahad’s vision pervades every frame of the film, and we’re proud to be able to get behind her debut feature. When theatres reopen, many will flock to the blockbusters, but some of us will want to do what we love best: hit up our favourite arthouse to see something fresh and unexpected. It’s dark times right now, but arthouse theatres will reopen, and we will be there when they do.”
Presented by Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Scales is a Film Solutions and The Imaginarium Films production, produced in association with Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji Productions. Written and directed by Shahad Ameen, the film was produced by R. Paul Miller, Stephen Strachan, and Rula Nasser, with executive producers Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji and Majid Al Ansari. The deal was negotiated by Dylan Marchetti for Variance Films and Cinetic Sales Group on behalf of Ben Ross, Chief Content Officer for Image Nation Abu Dhabi. AGC International, the international sales and distribution arm of Stuart Ford’s fast-growing independent content studio AGC Studios, handles international rights to the film.