Following the success of his debut film Barakah Meets Barakah in 2016, Mahmoud Sabbagh is returning to the British capital to premiere his second movie. The Saudi filmmaker will be presenting his most recent feature film, Amra and the Second Marriage, in London at the Vue cinema in Leicester Square on October 13, and at the Curzon cinema in Soho on October 14, as part of the BFI London Film Festival 2018. Tickets for the world premiere go on sale tomorrow.
Amra and the Second Marriage is a 91-minute comedy that tells the story of a housewife who discovers that her retired husband is planning to marry a second, much younger wife, after she failed to provide him with a son. The not-yet-released-film stars Saudi comedian Mohammad Alhamdan (more commonly known as “Abu Hamdan” to his 3 million Instagram followers), Alshaima’a Tayeb, and Khairia Nazmi. Just like his debut film, the new movie was shot and produced entirely in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Sabbagh was born in Jeddah in 1983. The director, who admits he is heavily influenced by Egyptian films from the 80s, moved to New York in 2011 to pursue a master’s degree in documentary filmmaking and production at Columbia University’s prestigious Graduate School of Journalism. Shortly after obtaining his post-graduate degree, the filmmaker returned to Jeddah, where he released the critically-acclaimed Barakah Meets Barakah, starring Hisham Fageeh and Fatima AlBanawi.
The movie would go on to make history as the first Saudi film to premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival, and was later selected as the Saudi entry for best foreign-language film at the 89th Academy Awards. In addition to screenwriting and producing, Sabbagh is also the founder of the first independent feature film production house in Jeddah, Elhoush Productions, which opened its doors in 2015.