UAE blockbuster 'Al Kameen' set for international release

Saban Films has acquired the rights to screen Pierre Morel's record-breaking film to American and Canadian audiences

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Saban Films has acquired the American and Canadian rights to Al Kameen, or The Ambush in English, the UAE's highest-grossing Arabic film.

Directed by Pierre Morel (Taken), the AGC International and Image Nation production was released across 185 UAE cinema screens in November last year. Now it is set to grace screens across the US and Canada.

The film is based on the true story of a daring mission by a group of Emirati soldiers sent to rescue their compatriots who were ambushed in a mountainous valley in Yemen. It was filmed entirely in the UAE, with more than 400 cast and crew, becoming the largest Arabic-language film production in the GCC.

The real-life Col Mohammed Almazrouei, who was credited with saving 18 servicemen following an ambush in Yemen. Vidhyaa Chandramohan for The National

Within weeks of its release, the film had already broken more than 170,000 admissions, becoming the most successful Emirati and Arabic-language movie in UAE history.

Morel, who attended the premiere at Vox Cinemas in Yas Mall, said: “The feedback we have received from audiences across the UAE has been overwhelming and I am so proud to have been a part of this fantastic project. I hope audiences continue to resonate with this inspirational story of brotherhood."

The Ambush features an all-Emirati lead cast, including Omar Bin Haider, Marwan Abdulla Saleh, Mohammed Ahmed, Mansoor Alfeeli, and Khalifa Albahri. It was written by Brandon Birtell (Furious 7) and Kurtis Birtell (Medal of Honour) in conjunction with the Emirati soldiers involved in the 2018 events.

The production also included a team of Emirati filmmakers and development executives, including Hana Kazim, Talal Al Asmani, Alwiya Thani and Alia AlQemzi. The acquisition marks a major milestone for Saban Films, as its first foreign-language title set for an international theatrical release on October 28, before hitting digital and on-demand services on November 1.

Saban Films president, Bill Bromiley said the acquisition was a response to growing demand for more international content. “As Saban’s first foreign-language film, The Ambush, a story about unwavering resilience, will continue to inspire audiences around the world."

Updated: August 25, 2022, 12:34 PM