Feature / Development Funding
Tunisia, Canada, France, Sweden, Qatar / Arabic / 110 minutes
Director: Meryam Joobeur
Production company: Instinct Bleu
Swedish Co-producer: Frida Martensson
Production company: Verket Produktion
SALHA (45) lives in the isolated north of Tunisia with her husband MOHAMED (50), a shepherd, and their sons CHAKER (15) and RAYAAN (7). The family lives with the weight of two recent tragedies: the death of their eldest son MARWEN in a car accident and the departure of their second son MALEK (20) to the violent embrace of the Islamic State in Syria.
The delicate balance of the family is again disrupted when Malek returns home with a new wife REEM (17), a mysterious mute Yazidi girl who seems to be pregnant. Malek’s return coincides with a series of strange occurrences in the village including the disappearance of men of all ages and backgrounds. SALHA begins to realize the connection between the strange events and her son and his wife. SALHA’s maternal instinct is pushed to the limit as she tries to protect her family and community from a growing sinister presence.
Meryam Joobeur is a Montréal based Tunisian writer/director/producer. Her short films “Gods, Weeds and Revolutions” (2013) and “Born in the Maelstrom” (2017), starring Sasha Lane (American Honey), screened in dozens of national and international festivals including REGARDS, Winterthur International Short Film Festival and Guanajuato International Film Festival. Her recent short “Brotherhood” (2018) premiered at TIFF where it won ‘Best Canadian short’ and went on to screen at Sundance, Clermont Ferrand (Jury ‘Special Mention’), Aspen International Film Festival, Winterthur (Audience Award) and Cairo International Film Festival (‘Best Short Film’). She is currently developing two feature films including “Motherhood”, the feature version of “Brotherhood”.
Meryam is an alumnus of the TIFF talent lab, Med Film Factory, Rawi Screenwriter’s lab and Berlinale Talent Lab and recently opened the production company INSTINCT BLEU with Tunisian producer Sarra Ben Hassen.
Frida Mårtensson is a Producer at the Stockholm-based production company Verket Produktion, which she runs together with Jerry Carlsson and Anette Sidor. Before starting at Verket, Frida was an associate producer at Garagefilm International between 2010 and 2018, where she worked on a number of critically acclaimed and award-winning features such as “Call Girl” by Mikael Marcimain, “Something Must Break” by Ester Martin Bergsmark, “Amateurs” by Gabriela Pichler and “The Heart” by Fanni Metelius. In 2017 Frida produced the awarded and Oscar nominated short film “Shadow Animals” directed by Jerry Carlsson, which has screened at over 80 film festivals around the world such as Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, Nordisk Panorama, San Francisco IFF and Palm Springs Short Fest