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This Saudi Director’s Short Film Landed on Netflix

In Netflix’s latest curation of films, “Because She Created,” which features 21 Arab films by female directors only, there is a short film by a Saudi director worth noting.

Ahd Kamel’s short film, “Sanctity,” is part of the curated edit and for good reason.

Netflix’s collection of films include a variety of genres such as documentaries, dramas, romance, and more directed by critically acclaimed Algerian, Egyptian, Jordanian, Kuwaiti, Lebanese, Moroccan, Palestinian, Saudi, Sudanese, Syrian and Tunisian filmmakers, and are now available to view on the streaming platform.

“Because She Created” shines a spotlight on the work and creativity of Arab women in cinema and allows the world to note their talents and view of the world through a lens.

From Jeddah, Ahd Kamel’s film, “Sanctity,” was first released in 2013. The short film looks at social traditions that deem friendship between men and women taboo, and the idea is further explored through the film’s narrative. A young widow in Saudi Arabia is in the center of th eplot and she is trying to protect her unborn child. The film gained much critical acclaim and was nominated in 2013 for a Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.

In a released statement, Nuha El-Tayeb, director of content acquisitions for Netflix MENA and Turkey, said, “We’re proud to be telling more stories by Arab filmmakers that can resonate with women from all walks of life and from around the world. Together, their voices provide inspiration for the wider creative community, while highlighting the importance of equitable representation in storytelling, and why it matters.”

Other films that are part if Netflix’s Arab female focused curation include Latifa Said’s 2019 movie “The Room,” which tells the story of an Algerian expatriate who learns things about her father after he dies via the objects he owned and “Stateless” by Moroccan filmmaker Nariss Nejjar, which conveys the tale of a 35-year-old woman who grapples with harrowing memories of her childhood being snatched away from her after she became estranged from her family and forced into exile in Morocco.

Algerian Fatma Zamoun’s multi-character drama “Parkour,” “Bint Werdan,” an office comedy by Kuwaiti filmmaker Maysaa Almunin, and “Selma’s Home,” a family drama by Jordanian filmmaker Hanadi Elyan, are also part of the collection on Netflix. 

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