Hany Abu-Assad's 'Huda's Salon' heads to Toronto and secures US distribution

The wait for the Palestinian filmmaker's “feminist thriller" is finally over as his latest oeuvre heads to the Toronto International Film Festival, after weeks of speculation.
Hany Abu-Assad's 'Huda's Salon' heads to Toronto and secures US distribution

Every time an announcement for Fall festival titles was made, we at MIME sat in anticipation, awaiting news of where we'd finally be able to watch Huda's Salon, the latest film from Palestinian Oscar-nominated filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad. The wait is over as TIFF has announced the title will play as part of their Platform selection, which is made up entirely of world premieres. The head of the section's jury is Riz Ahmed -- and Ahmed starred in Sound of Metal, what became an Oscar-nominated performance, which had its world premiere in the 2019 Platforms competition at Toronto.

On the same day as the announcement of the inclusion of the film in the TIFF line-up, IFC Films also released a statement saying it had acquired North American rights to Huda’s Salon which is written and directed by Abu-Assad and is co-produced by H&A Production, a company formed by the filmmaker and his wife Amira Diab. Mohamed Hefzy's Film Clinic as well as Philistine Films are also co-producers on the film, which saw production stopped twice due to the worldwide pandemic.

Huda's Salon stars Manal Awad, Maisa Abd Elhadi and Ali Suliman and was filmed between Nazareth, Abu-Assad's hometown, and Bethlehem. The story is based on real-life events about a woman whose visit to a hair salon turns into a nightmare when the owner begins blackmailing her. Abu-Assad's previous film was the Hollywood production The Mountain Between Us, a 2017 action-adventure starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba.

Alongside Cairo-based outfit Film Clinic, Abu-Assad is also co-producing acclaimed Egyptian helmer Mohamed Diab’s new film Amira which will world premiere in Venice this September.

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