Nominated for the Oscars, ‘Cinema Sabaya’ will hit North American screens

New York film distributor Kino Lorber has purchased the North American distribution rights to award-winning ‘Cinema Sabaya’, which tells the story of a group of Arab and Israeli women reunited as part of a documentary filmmaking workshop.

Currently in theaters in Israel, the film, which is Israeli director Orit Fouks Rotem’s feature debut, is Israel’s official nominee for the 2023 Oscars in the Best International Feature Film category. He also won the Israeli Ophir Awards last September.

Starring actress Dana Ivgy as the filmmaker who leads the workshop, “Cinema Sabaya” portrays eight very different women. There are two elderly Muslim mothers, some younger ones, an Israeli who lives on a boat, a lawyer and a mother from the suburbs.

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These women film their homes and their lives as part of the workshop and, in doing so, learn a lot about themselves and others.

“Cinema Sabaya” debuted at the Jerusalem International Film Festival in July, where it won two awards: Best First Feature and Audience.

The film also won the Ophir Awards, the Israeli equivalent of the Oscars, in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress for Joanna Said, who plays a Muslim mother with a large family, at the fort character, who dreams of passing his driving licence.

The film also stars Marlene Bajali, Amal Murkus, Ruth Landau, Yulia Tagil, Orit Samuel, Aseel Farhat, Liora Levi and Khawlah Hag-Debsy.

“Basically, ‘Cinema Sabaya’ is about the power of cinema: the power to change people’s lives, to give women a voice and to break down cultural barriers,” explains Wendy Lidell, senior vice-president of Kino Lorber.

Kino Lorber is planning a theatrical release in early 2023.

Memento International is in charge of the film’s international sales. This independent distribution company specializes in arthouse films, documentaries, great classics and world cinema.

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Nominated for the Oscars, ‘Cinema Sabaya’ will hit North American screens