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Hany Abu-Assad’s ‘The Idol’ Sells to Adopt Films for U.S.

Following its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, Entertainment One’s Seville International has sold U.S. rights on Hany Abu-Assad’s “The Idol” to Adopt Films.

The movie is based on the story of Mohammad Assaf, the 2013 winner of “Arab Idol,” who managed to leave Gaza and make it to the Cairo auditions of the most popular talent show in the region.

The movie stars a quartet of actors from Gaza — Qais Attallah, Hiba Attallah, Ahmad Qassim and Abdalkarim Abubaraka — along with Tawfeek Barhom, Nadine Labaki, Ashraf Barhoum and Ali Suliman.

The film is written by Abu-Assad and Sameh Zoabi. Ali Jaafar and Amira Diab are producing.

Abu-Assad received Oscar nominations for best foreign language film in 2006 for “Paradise Now” and in 2013 for “Omar.”

The film was partially filmed on location in Gaza, the first feature film to be shot there in decades. Other shooting locations included Jenin, Amman, Beirut and Cairo. “The Idol” is produced in association with the Doha Film Institute and with the support of the Netherlands Film Fund.

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