MAD Solutions Acquires Yemeni Abortion Drama ‘The Burdened’

Renowned film distributor MAD Solutions has secured the pan-Arab rights to Yemeni abortion-themed drama “The Burdened” (“Al Murhaqoon”), which is among ongoing works to be presented at the Red Sea project market in Saudi Arabia.

Produced and directed by Amr Gamal, The Burdened received an award under the Work in Progress of the Industrial Section of the Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival in July.

Written by Gamal and Mazen Refaat, the story revolves around Ahmed, Isra’a and their three children in Aden, Yemen in 2019. It is based on true events that the director experienced with one of his close friends. Due to the country’s economic crisis, both parents lose their jobs. The drama begins with Isra’a learning of her fourth pregnancy while unable to cover the costs of having a new child, leading her to make tough decisions to survive amid her community’s conservative attitude.

Burdened will be Gamal’s second feature film following his 2018 debut 10 Days Before the Wedding, a dramedy about obstacles caused by the 2015 war in Yemen and a young couple’s marriage. This was Yemen’s first locally produced film in years and became a hit with local audiences.

The project, currently in progress, brings together Yemen, Sudan and Saudi Arabia in a groundbreaking co-production. The Burdened stars Khaled Hamdan, Abeer Mohammed, Samah Alamrani and Awsam Abdulrahman.

“I was fortunate to be able to work on the film alongside the Yemeni crew with a variety of nationalities,” Gamal said in a statement. “I’ve had the privilege of working with actors and producers from Sudan, Egypt, India, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Czech Republic, United Kingdom and Taiwan,” the director added, noting that the picture is “a humble one Young people’s dream is Aden, which culminated in a film shared by filmmakers from around the world, and the dream is still ongoing.”

This cosmopolitan mix of talent involved was part of the appeal for MAD Solutions. “We are thrilled to have acquired the distribution rights to this groundbreaking and heartbreaking story,” said the company’s co-founders, Alaa Karkouti and Maher Diab. “It aligns perfectly with the company’s philosophy to aggressively seek filmmakers with significant creative potential and projects that bridge different cultures,” they added.

The Burdened is co-produced by Mohsen Alkhalifi, Mohammed Alomda and Amjad Abu Alala, the Sudanese filmmaker who directed the multi-award-winning drama You Will Die at Twenty, which in 2020 was Sudan’s first-ever Oscar submission.

Headquartered in Cairo with offices in the United Arab Emirates, Portugal and New York, MAD Solutions is a leading global distributor of Arabic language films and also operates one of the leading advertising agencies and management companies for Arabic creative talent.

As of 2021, they have distributed more than 100 film titles, two-thirds of them feature films, in Arabic-speaking countries and international markets. MAD Solutions Acquires Yemeni Abortion Drama ‘The Burdened’

Charles Jones

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