A lavish Arabic-language film titled “Sukkar,” that draws inspiration from U.S. writer Jean Webster’s epistolary novel “Daddy-Long-Legs” and is being touted as the Arab world’s first musical movie in the Western canon, is set to release in cinemas across the Middle East and North Africa.
Produced by Saudi-owned broadcasting powerhouse MBC Group, which claims it is a first, “Sukkar” is conceived by Kuwaiti writer Heba Mishari Hamada and directed by Egypt’s Tamer Mahdy. It features singer Hala Turk, who rose to prominence after being an “Arabs Got Talent” contestant in 2011, in the lead role alongside a wide-range of new young talents from the Arab world.
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The movie, which features original songs penned by Hamada and scored by Egyptian composer Ehad Abdel Wahed, is set in an orphanage where the titular character Sukkar and her friends wake up every day “with hopes of transforming their lives into something more meaningful and colourful,” according to the provided synopsis that specifies that “the head of the orphanage, Ratiba, is incredibly mean and makes life even harder for the kids.”
“Sukkar” is set to be released across the MENA region on Oct. 12 by Beirut-based Empire Entertainment, which is one of the region’s top movie distributors. It will subsequently play on MBC’s premium Shahid streaming service. It will be interesting to see how it performs at the MENA box office.
The film’s lead producer is Samar Akrouk, who is group director of production at MBC Group, along with MBC executive producer Lara Ghazal Nassif and MBC producer Alaa Awada, plus executive producer Tamer Mortada and producer Mostafa Al Awadi from Egypt’s Aroma Productions.
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