Shahad Ameen is the female Saudi Arabian writer and producer paving the way for Middle Eastern representation in mainstream cinema. Created by Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Shahad’s film Sayidat Al Bahr, or Scales in English, will be shown as part of the Venice Critics' Week competition at this year’s Venice Film Festival.
The film was shot right here in the UAE and tells the story of Hayat – a courageous woman who fights against her village’s tradition of sacrificing children to mysterious sea creatures. Interesting, right? The fantasy film explores what it means to be a female in a patriarchal society and puts a magical spin on a serious topic, while also addressing freedom and belonging.
Premiering at one of the biggest film festivals ever – one that thrust the award-winning Roma and The Shape of Water into the mainstream – will definitely give Shahad the recognition she, and Middle Eastern cinema, deserves. Go on, girl!