Armani Audience Award and Lanterna Magica Award

Soudade Kaadan’s NEZOUH Grabs Two Awards at Venice International Film Festival

11 September 2022:

Feature film NEZOUH by Soudade Kaadan and starring Kinda Alloush has won two awards at the closing ceremony of the 79th Venice International Film Festival, which was held on Saturday September 10. The film, which landed its world premiere at the Orizzonti Extra competition, nabbed the Audience Award presented by Armani Beauty, the festival’s main sponsor, making it the first Arab film to receive it and Lanterna Magica Award, presented by Cinecircoli Giovanili Socioculturali (CGS). Thus, director Soudade Kaadan has three awards from Venice Film Festival, as her first film, THE DAY I LOST MY SHADOW, was awarded the Lion of the Future award at the Orizzonti Competition.
 
The film received a wide acclaim after its screening as Anna Smith wrote in Deadline website  saying “Nezouh is a charming watch that blends feminist fairytale with real-life drama.” While Jonathan Holland wrote in his review on screendaily website that , “An intense and delicate film that bravely seeks to upend expectations of what the term “Syrian drama” generally suggests — violence and victims”. On the other hand, Fabien Lemercier described it on Cineuropa website as “Brimming with wonderful surrealist ideas”. 
 
 NEZOUH is set to continue its worldwide festival tour with the BFI London Film Festival, where it will participate in the official competition. The film takes place during the Syrian conflict, when a missile destroys the ceiling of the house of the 14-year-old Zeina (Hala Zein). As a result, she sleeps for the first time under the stars and makes friends with Amer (Nizar Alani), the boy next door. When the violence escalates, Zeina’s mother, Hala, (Kinda Alloush) decides to leave. She puts up a fight with her husband Motaz (Samer Al Masri) who refuses to become a refugee and tries everything to stop his family from leaving his house.
 
The film received Baumi Award for script development from Berlinale and was awarded ARTE at Cannes Film Festival and Sorfond award as part of Cinéfondation’s workshop. Also, it received support from Torino Film Lab, Doha Film Institute and the British Film Institute (National Lottery funds).
 
Shot in Turkey, NEZOUH is written and directed by Soudade Kaadan. by KAF Productions (Soudade Kaadan) and Berkeley Media Group (Yu-Fai Suen) in association with Ex Nihilo (Marc Bordure). NEZOUH stars Kinda Alloush, Samer Al Masri, Hala Zein, Nizar Alani and Darina Al Joundi, and lensed by prominent cinematographer Hélène Louvart. MAD Solutions manages the film’s distribution in the Arab world while MK2 films is in charge of the film’s worldwide sales. Moreover,it is distributed in France by Pyramide and is financed through FILM4 and Stars Collective. 
 
 Born in France, Soudade Kaadan is a Syrian director who studied theater criticism at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts and graduated from the Institut des Etudes Scénique, Audiovisuelles et cinématographiques (IESAV), Saint Joseph University in Lebanon. Her film THE DAY I LOST MY SHADOW marks her feature debut. It won the Lion of the Future award at the Orizzonti Competition of Venice Film Festival and the jury prize at LA Festival. 
 
A few months ago, 3 films by Soudade were screened on Netflix (Feature film THE DAY I LOST MY SHADOW and the two short films; AZIZA and BESIEGED BREAD). The films, which nabbed dozens of international awards, shed light on the situation in Syria during the previous decade. They are currently available for subscribers worldwide.