Barakah Meets Barakah

Director: Mahmoud Sabbagh
Highlights Highlights Highlights
The film is Saudi Arabia's official submission to the 2017 Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film and the first Saudi film to screen at Berlinale.
The film ranked the fifth on the IndieWire’s list of Favorite Middle Eastern Films of 2016.
The film is for anyone who wishes to know more about dating in Saudi Arabia.
It was filmed entirely in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia by Egyptian cinematographer Victor Credi.
The film originates from Saudi Arabia where cinema has been banned for more than 30 years.
Barakah Meets Barakah Poster
2016/ Saudi Arabia88 min/ Comedy, Romance
Original Title
Barakah Yoqabil Barakah
Barakah Meets Barakah tells the story of two lovers who are united in an environment hostile to dating of any kind. He is Barakah, the municipal civil servant from Jeddah, who is also an amateur actor in a theatrical troupe. She is Barakah, a wild beauty, who functions as a crowd-puller for her stylish mother’s boutique and runs her own widely-seen vlog. They both defy customs and traditions, as well as the religious police, using modern communication technologies and traditional dating methods.
Hisham Fageeh
Fatima Al Banawi
Sami Hifny
Abdulmajeed Alruhaidi
Screenwriter: Mahmoud Sabbagh
DOP: Victor Credi
Editor: Sofia Subercaseaux
Daniel Garcia
Anas Batahaf
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Production Company(ies)
El Housh Productions
Mahmoud Sabbagh
film festivals
BFI London Film Festival, UK
Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), Germany
Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), Egypt
Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Canada
Carthage Film Festival (JCC), Tunisia
Festival International du Film de Dakhla, Morocco
Sudan Independent Festival (SIFF), Sudan
Les Premier Rencontres Cinématographique (Debut Film Encounters Programme) in Hassi Messaoud, Algeria
Tripoli Film Festival, Lebanon
Arab Film Festival Amman, Jordan
film awards
Ecumenical Jury Award at the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale), Germany
Certificate of Appreciation at the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), Egypt
“The independently financed, satirical comedy Barakah Meets Barakah from debuting writer-director Mahmoud Sabbagh is a smart, charming, and bittersweet tale about the Kingdom’s millennial generation and their take on the social and political restrictions that stand in the way of meeting and mingling with the opposite sex.” Alissa Simon - Variety

“A suitable pick for any festival or platform favoring human-rights themes, this easygoing crowd-pleaser is automatically rendered rich and strange by its unlikely origins.” Neil Young - The Hollywood Reporter

“Barakah Meets Barakah is fascinating as ethnography.” Jordan Hoffman - The Guardian

“The film is critical of oppressive customs and even a bit tragic, but it's also joyful, investing its hopes in characters representing a new generation that is too fun and sassy to be ignored.” Radheyan Simonpillai - NOW

“Bolstered by two knockout performances, this Saudi gem is a sweet and stirring success for debut filmmaker Mahmoud Sabbagh.” Joni Blyth - One Room With A View