Hany Abu-Assad's new movie: 'Huda's Salon'
Production has finally completed on “Huda’s Salon,” the new film from double Academy-Award nominated director Hany Abu-Assad (“Paradise Now,” “Omar”). Production was halted twice this year because of regulations brought in to stop the spread of coronavirus. Variety spoke to the Palestinian director from his home in Nazareth after he gave a masterclass via Zoom at the Cairo Film Festival.
Written and directed by Abu-Assad, “Huda’s Salon” is based on real-life events telling the story of a woman whose visit to a hair salon turns into a nightmare when its owner blackmails her. Starring Manal Awad, Maisa Abd Elhadi and Ali Suliman, filming took place on location in Nazareth and Bethlehem.
H&A Production, the company run by Abu-Assad and his wife Amira Diab, are lead producing, alongside Egyptian producer and Cairo Film Festival head honcho Mohamed Hefzy at Film Clinic. Philistine Films came on board during the lockdown. Sales are being handled by Memento Films International, which launched the film at the Berlin Film Festival when “Huda’s Salon” was scheduled for a fall debut.
Although lockdown was a frustrating personal experience for Abu-Assad, the director admits, “‘Huda’s Salon’ has benefitted from COVID because I was supposed to finish it in August. Now I think that I’m going to finish in March. This nine-month delay benefitted the movie enormously because I had more time to work on the script, the edit and to plan the shooting schedule.”