Scales

Director: Shahad Ameen Run Time: 74 min. Rating: NR

Starring: Abdulaziz Shtian, Basima Hajjar, Ibrahim Al-Hasawi, Yagoub Alfarhan

Country: Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iraq
Language: Arabic

“taps into something primal and chilling”

– Alissa Simon for Variety

About the film:

Winner of the Verona Film Club Award for most innovative film in the Critics’ Week competition at the 2019 Venice Film Festival. An Official Selection of SXSW 2020 and TIFF Next Wave Film Festival, and the official Saudi Arabian selection for Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards.

Scales is a visually stunning feminist parable set in a dystopian landscape. It follows the story of a strong-willed young girl, Hayat, whose poor fishing village is governed by a dark tradition: to ensure the village can continue their fishing expeditions, every family must give one daughter to the mermaid-like sea creatures who inhabit the waters.

When Hayat’s father refuses, the girl becomes a pariah, considered a curse by the village and urged to sacrifice herself. But Hayat has her own plans for her destiny.

About the filmmaker:

Writer and Director Shahad Ameen was born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Her short films include Our Own Musical and Leila’s Window, which was named Best Film at the Saudi Film Festival. Expanding on her prize-winning short film Eye & Mermaid, her debut feature Scales draws from Arabic folklore and mirrors her own experiences growing up. Read more here.

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MAJOR SUPPORT
Ohio Arts Council
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The Columbus Foundation
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WITH HELP FROM
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WOSU Public Media

Trailer