Front Row Takes MENA Rights For Farah Nabulsi’s Palestinian Drama ‘The Teacher’ As Film Enjoys Buzzy Toronto Premiere

Dubai-based distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment has boarded MENA distribution of Palestinian drama The Teacher, which enjoyed a buzzy world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival over the weekend.

The acquisition marks the company’s second collaboration with British-Palestinian director Farah Nabulsi.

It previously distributed her Oscar-nominated and Bafta-winning short film The Present, selling it to streaming giant Netflix prior it buzzy 2021 awards season run.

The Teacher is produced by Sawsan Asfari (Huda’s Salon), Osama Bawardi (The Present, Now) and Nabulsi.

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Saleh Bakri (The Blue Caftan) stars as a Palestinian school teacher, struggling to reconcile his life-threatening commitment to political resistance with his emotional support for one of his students and the chance of a new romantic relationship with a British volunteer worker, played by Imogen Poots ((The Father, I Know This Much Is True).

The film was shot entirely in the West Bank in the city of Nablus.

Front Row noted it had long championed Palestinian cinema, having recently distributed another TIFF selection A Gaza Weekend and curated the 2021 Made in Palestine collection for Netflix.

“We’re delighted to be working once again with Farah, Osama and Sawsan. The audience reaction to the screening was a triumph, led by a terrific performance by Saleh Bakri, who now cements himself as one of the best contemporary Arab actors”, said Front Row CEO Gianluca Chakra.

“Exploring and embracing Palestinian cinema offers us all a unique opportunity to foster to foster authenticity, access and understanding. Through the lens of films such as this one, we can gain valuable insights into the experiences, struggles, and aspirations of the Palestinian people, ultimately promoting representation, dialogue and a more inclusive world.”

Producer Asfari said of the new collaboration: “Front Row share our vision of bringing to life and making accessible to the wider audience the voices of those not heard, and the stories of those not seen.”

Front Row will release The Teacher in early 2024.

Goodfellas is handling international sales with CAA Media Finance handling US sales.

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