Cohen Media Group has acquired US rights to British-Palestinian filmmaker Basil Khalil’s TIFF Discovery premiere A Gaza Weekend.
Khalil’s made his feature directorial debut on the culture-clash comedy-drama about a couple stranded amid a deadly virus outbreak which has sealed off Israel and turned the Gaza Strip into the safest place in the region.
A British journalist and his Israeli girlfriend who want to flee Israel must place their faith in two Palestinian street merchants who promise a way out in exchange for cash.
Stephen Mangan and Mouna Hawa lead the cast alongside Adam Bakri, Maria Zreik, Sameera Asir, Samer Bisharat, Loai Noufi, and Adeeb Safadi.
A Gaza Weekend premiered in TIFF”s Discovery section last year and was produced by Alcove Entertainment. It was developed and financed by BFI (Awarding National Lottery Funding) and Film4, with funding from the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture and in association with Twickenham Film Studios.
Amina Dasmal served as producer and Robin Fox, Kristin Irving, Sunny Vohra, Cara Sheppard, Lauren Dark, David Kimbangi and Daniel Battsek are the executive producers.
Cohen Media Group SVP Robert Aaronson brokered the deal with Lina Marrone, acting head of sales at Protagonist Pictures.
Khalil, whose Ave Maria was nominated for the 2016 Oscar for best live-action short film, said, “Cohen Media Group was always my top choice, as they’re known and respected for backing some of the finest international films in the U.S. We couldn’t have wished for a better home for A Gaza Weekend.”
Aaronson hailed A Gaza Weekend as “equally thought-provoking and amusing, and marks the arrival of a bright new filmmaker on the world stage in Basil Khalil”.
“Our friends at Cohen Media have exceptional taste, distributing quality cinema from the most gifted auteurs,” said Marrone. “We are so pleased they share our passion for Basil’s incredible work and will see the film reach its fullest potential in the US.