Animated Syrian refugee tale 'Lamya's Poem' set for North American release

Freestyle Digital Media, the digital film distribution division of Byron Allen's Allen Media Group, has acquired North American DVD and VOD rights for the film and will release it starting February 21st, 2023.
Animated Syrian refugee tale 'Lamya's Poem' set for North American release

The family-oriented Syrian refugee tale Lamya's Poem premiered at last year's prestigious Annecy International Animation Film Festival, and went on to play at festivals in Vancouver, Zurich and Prague. Now Lamya's Poem will be available on DVD and to rent/own on North American digital HD internet, cable, and satellite platforms on February 21, 2023 through Freestyle Digital Media. The film was also one of the 27 animated features which qualified for an Academy Award nomination for "Best Animated Feature."

Lamya's Poem tells the story of a 12-year-old Syrian refugee girl named Lamya who tumbles into a dream world where she meets a poet and must help him write the poem that will save her life. When Lamya flees the violence of her country, she is given a book of poetry by the famous 13th-century poet, Rumi. As the perils of Lamya's journey mount, the book becomes a magical gateway where she meets Rumi when he was a boy and also a refugee fleeing the violence of his time. In a shared dreamworld, they battle the monsters that follow them from their real-world situations, and Lamya must help young Rumi find his calling and write the poem that 800 years later will save her life.

Written and directed by Alex Kronemer, Lamya's Poem was produced by Alex Kronemer, Glenn James Brown, and Sam Kadi. The cast features Millie Davis as Lamya -– best known for her roles as Ms. O in the PBS Kids series Odd Squad, Summer in the film Wonder, and Gemma Hendrix in the series Orphan Black; Faran Tahir as Baha Walad -– best known for his roles as Raza in Iron Man and Captain Robau in Star Trek; and Mena Massoud as Rumi. Massoud plays Aladdin in Disney's live-action remake of Aladdin directed by Guy Ritchie and Tarek Kassar in the series Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan.

The animation studio is award-winning animation studio PIP Animation, based in Ontario, Canada. PIP Animation has been involved in numerous animated features and TV specials that reach worldwide audiences, including The Cat in the Hat, Wandering Wenda, Caillou, Cyber Chase, Through the Woods, Pirate's Passage, and the Netflix original series, The Umbrella Academy.

"We were inspired by accounts of displaced Syrians reading poetry and literature in refugee camps to help overcome the trauma of their displacement from home, friends, and family," said filmmaker Alex Kronemer. "At its center, Lamya's Poem is about the magical relationship between artists and their audiences that can cross time and space to help both heal and transcend difficult circumstances. While rooted in loss, the film ultimately is a life-affirming and family-friendly tale."

MIME's Managing Editor E. Nina Rothe reviewed the film when it screened at the Zurich Film Festival.

Top image provided by the producers and used with permission.

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