'10 Days Before the Wedding': Yemen's first-ever Oscars submission to release in UAE cinemas

The film tells the story of a young Yemeni couple who were set to get married but were hampered by the 2015 outbreak of war

A still from the Oscar-nominated '10 Days Before the Wedding'.
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This year's debut Yemeni submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, 10 Days Before the Wedding, is to be released in cinemas in the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the new year as the film's producers attempt to build hype before the announcement of the nominations shortlist on January 22.

The film tells the story of a young Yemeni couple who were set to get married but were hampered by the 2015 outbreak of war. In 2018, they attempt to follow their dream once again, but this time the aftermath of the war and the economic crisis prove their nemesis as they struggle to make sure the wedding scheduled in 10 days happens on time. The film also attempts to show a side of the city of Aden, and Yemeni life in general, that audiences accustomed to seeing images of war and tragedy may not be aware of.

The film's director, Amr Jamal, told The National: "We signed a deal with Faradees Production Company to distribute the movie in the UAE and the Gulf states. The deal was signed through the Emirati director Abdullah Hasan Ahmed [Smaller than the Sky] who was a link between us and Faradees Company. The distribution company is going to start the shows of the movie in Abu Dhabi and Dubai at the beginning of January of the coming new year 2019."

Jamal added that the movie has already enjoyed three successful private screenings at Abu Dhabi University, with former Yemeni vice president, Khaled Bahah, among the attendees. Jamal said that these screenings were also intended to raise awareness before the Oscars’ decision: “ In the last two weeks Faradees ended three private shows of the movie with a goal to catch the people's attention and create a buzz before the commercial shows start,” he said.


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The Gulf release follows an incredible, and ongoing, three-month run for the movie in Yemeni wedding halls, where the film has been screening due to a lack of theatres in the war-torn country: “Who would have thought that after three months since our film started playing in Aden, we would still have sold-out screenings? [On November 25] we had over 500 people in attendance, thanks for all this love. It means the world for us," Jamal said.

An exact date for the UAE release is yet to be announced — the producers and distributors say they hope to maximise audiences by timing the release to avoid as many blockbusters as possible, and will be meticulously studying release schedules over the coming days. Watch this space for details as they become available.