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Toronto-Bowing Palestinian Suspense Drama ‘The Teacher’ Sells to Front Row for Middle East

The Teacher, the feature debut of British-Palestinian director Farah Nabulsi that recently had it world premiere in Toronto, has been acquired by Front Row Filmed Entertainment for the Middle East and North Africa.

The deal marks the second collaboration between Nabulsi and Front Row, with the Dubai-based banner having distributed and globally sold her previous short film The Present to Netflix, prior to it landing an BAFTA award and an Oscar nomination.

Set and shot in the West Bank city of Nablus and staring Saleh Bakri (Alam, The Blue Caftan) and Imogen Poots (The Father, HBO’s I Know This Much Is True), The Teacher follows the story of a Palestinian school teacher as he struggles 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. Sawsan Asfari (Hany Abu-Assad’s Huda’s Salon), Oscar nominee Osama Bawardi (The Present, Now) and Nabulsi produce.

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“We’re delighted to be working once again with Farah, Osama and Sawsan. The audience reaction to the screening was indeed a triumph lead 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, whose company has helped champion Palestinian filmmaking having recently distributed another TIFF selection, A Gaza Weekend, among tens of others and curated Netflix’ “Made in Palestine” collection.

“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.”

Added Nablusi: “From the incredible audience reactions we had at TIFF when we premiered The Teacher, I am thrilled to be working again with Front Row. Audiences in the MENA are going to love it, and Gianluca and his team at Front Row are the right people to get it to them.”

Front Row will be releasing The Teacher in Q1 2024. Vincent Maraval’s Goodfellas is handling the film’s international sales with CAA Media Finance handling US sales.

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