Critically acclaimed Jordanian feature “Theeb” arrives in Egyptian theatres on Wednesday, after "a successful tour through seven Arab countries", MAD Solutions, the firm handling the film’s marketing, said in a statement.
"The film had a huge impact on Egyptian audiences when it was screened at the last edition of the Cairo International Film Festival... [it] had such a huge turnout that it was exclusively screened for a third time," the statement said.
Since premiering in September 2014, Naji Abu Nowar's first feature has been received with favourable reviews.
Recently, Variety magazine critic Jay Weissberg described the film, which won the main award and the Award for Best Script at the 43rd Belgrade International Film Festival in March, as "one of the best films of the year", highlighting its success in the Arab world as a marked exception.
"The classic adventure tale, rich in visual counterpoint and displaying a cinematic maturity surprising for a first feature, not only played at scores of fests, but is a success in the Arab-speaking world, where homegrown pics outside of popular Egyptian blockbusters tend to limp alongside US fare," the critic said in the story, published in May.
MAD Solutions released the film last March in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Jordan, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and Palestine.
"In 2014, Variety selected director Naji Abu Nowar as the Arab Filmmaker of the Year and the film went on to win seven awards at distinguished film festivals," the statement said.
“Theeb” has received the Orizzonti Award for Best Director at Venice Film Festival. It also received a Special Mention at BFI London Film Festival, in addition to the New Horizons’ Best Film from the Arab World Award and the FIPRESCI Award for Best Narrative Film at Abu Dhabi Film Festival.
The film has also received a certificate of appreciation within the Prospects of Arab Cinema section at Cairo International Film Festival and Best Directorial Debut Award at the Directors’ Debuts Competition within the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography (CAMERIMAGE) in Poland.
Abu Nowar and the rest of the film crew spent over a year in the Southern Badia to shoot the movie, selecting and training a cast of amateurs from the local community.
The cast included only one professional actor — Jack Fox of the UK as the British officer.
Set in the 1916 Arabian Desert, the 100-minute adventure film — written by Abu Nowar and Bassel Ghandour — "revolves around Theeb and his brother Hussein who abandon their tribe to go on a perilous journey during the beginning of the Great Arab Revolt".
"Theeb's survival depends on learning the principles of manhood, trust, and facing betrayal," according to MAD Solutions.
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