Stuart Ford’s AGC International has picked up world rights to two Arab-produced titles, HWJN by Yasir Al-Yasiri and To My Son by Dhafer L’abidine, ahead of their debuts at Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Film Festival.
AGC nabbed HWJN, which opens Red Sea this evening, from Image Nation Abu Dhabi, MBC STUDIOS, and VOX Studios. To My Son was acquired from O3 Medya and L’Abidine’s Double A Productions.
Adapted from the best-selling Young Adult fantasy novel by Ibraheem Abbas, HWJN combines Arabian folklore elements of fantasy, blended with modern themes. Set in modern-day Jeddah, HWJN follows the story of a kind-hearted jinn as he discovers the truth about his royal lineage. Synopsis reads: HWJN (Baraa Alem) sets off on an epic journey to reclaim his birthright, and while battling ancient evils to maintain the harmonious balance between his world and ours, falls in love with Sawsan (Nour Alkhadra), a young medical student. The film was co-written by Yasir Al Yasiri, Ibraheem Abbas, Sarah Taibah, and Hussam Alhulwah. Executive producers are Majid Al Ansari (Zinzana) and Saad Al Albutaily (Cherry) with Yasiri’s production company producing with Axx Productions. The book was published by Yatakhayaloon, which was founded by Yasser Bahjatt and Ibraheem Abbas. Deadline exclusively shared a trailer for the pic back in July. You can watch it here.
To My Son tells the story of a seemingly united family thrown into turmoil by the sudden return of their son, whom they haven’t seen for 12 years. Produced by O3 Medya and L’Abidine’s Double A Productions, the film stars L’Abidine in the lead role, alongside Saudi artists Ibrahim Al Hassaoui, Summer Shesha, Ida Alkusay, Khairia Nazmi, and Sarah Alyafei. The pic also features Jordanian actor Adam Abu Sakha, British actress Emilia Fox, and Lebanese newcomer Adam Zahr. Saner Ayar, Irmak Yazim, and Tolga Ismen are executive producers. The film marks L’Abidine’s second venture into directing, following his 2021 film Ghodwa, which won the FIPRESCI Award for Best Film at the 2021 Cairo International Film Festival.
HWJN’s Yasir Al Yasiri is an Iraqi filmmaker. His feature-length debut, Shabab Sheyab (2018), debuted at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. He followed it up with the 2019 feature 122.
These deals extend AGC’s presence in the MENA region. The indie studio previously partnered with Image Nation Abu Dhabi and VOX on Al Kameen and Voy! Voy! Voy!, Egypt’s selection for the Best International Feature race. AGC is also locked in with MBC Studios on world rights to their upcoming historical pic Desert Warrior, directed by Rupert Wyatt, starring Anthony Mackie, Aiysha Hart, and Ben Kingsley.
Red Sea Film Festival runs Nov 30 — Dec 9.