The 46th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Canada, has announced the selection of the Palestinian film Huda’s Salon, by director Hany Abu-Assad to participate in its Platform lineup, a director-driven section that aims to showcase original names in international cinema, at the festival’s upcoming edition (Sept.9-Sept 18).
Based on real events, Huda’s Salon is a heart-racing, entertaining feminist thriller, where two women fight for their freedom. Reem, a young mother married to a jealous man, goes to Huda’s salon in Bethlehem, for a haircut and an attentive ear. But this ordinary visit turns sour when Huda, after having put Reem in a shameful situation, blackmails her to have her work for the secret service of the occupiers, and thus betray her people.
“Seldom do I find a story inspired by real events that also contains contradictions. Huda’s Salon is full of contradictions that work together in a precise way and begin to fit together like the main wheels inside a clock, eventually strengthening one another through their fight. Despite having different jobs and agendas, they’re all working for the same ticking clock: suspense.” – quoting Director Hany Abu-Assad
Held annually in Canada, Toronto International Film Festival is one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals that showcases the year’s most remarkable films. The festival’s current edition features over 120 films, attracting over 400,000 people from all over the world.
Huda’s Salon stars Ali Suliman, Manal Awad and Maisa Abd Elhadi. The film is produced by H&A Production (Hany Abu-Assad and Amira Diab), Film Clinic (Mohamed Hefzy) and co- produced by MAD Solutions (Maher Diab and Alaa Karkouti), Lagoonie Film Production (Shahinaz El Akkad) Key Films, Cocoon and Philistine Films. Also, Daniel Ziskind of Film Clinic is the film’s co-producer. MEMENTO INTERNATIONAL handles worldwide distribution, while MAD Solutions and Lagoonie handle the film’s distribution across the Arab world.
Palestinian screenwriter and director Hany Abu-Assad is one of the most eminent Arab directors. His repertoire includes several exceptional Arab films that gained international recognition, such as Paradise Now (2005), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and won a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, and the film Omar (2013) that also received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In 2017, Abu-Assad directed The Mountain Between Us, starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba, which opened the 39th edition of Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF). Huda’s Salon is his latest feature film.