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Barajoun’s ‘Bilal’ Feature to Screen at Palm Springs Int’l Animation Festival

From Dubai-based animation and VFX studio Barajoun Entertainment, first fully Middle Eastern-funded and produced CG-animated film an official selection at PSIAF 2017.

Animated feature Bilal: A New Breed of Hero has been officially selected to screen at the Palm Springs International Animation Festival and is nominated for its Best Animated Feature award. The movie will be screened in California at the festival’s opening on November 10.

The first fully Middle Eastern-funded and produced CG-animated film, Bilal was produced by Dubai-based animation and VFX studio Barajoun Entertainment, brought to life by a dedicated team of 360 international artists and staffers. The musical score -- much of which was recorded at London’s Abbey Road Studio -- is a fusion of Arabian elements fused with Norse and European sentiments composed by Icelandic composer Atli Örvarsson.

The film is inspired by the story of Bilal Ibn Rabah, a real figure who lived among us 1,400 years ago. Bilal, a young boy with a dream of becoming a great warrior, is kidnaped along with his sister, Ghufaira, to a land far away from home. Thrown in a world where greed and injustice rule all, Bilal finds the courage to raise his voice and make a change. The movie voices the ability to overcome obstacles and free your soul from any chains no matter how hard it might seem to be.

Produced by Ayman Jamal and directed by Ayman Jamal and Khurram H. Alavi, Bilal stars Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in the titular role alongside Ian McShane as Umayya, China Anne McClain as teen Ghufaira & Jacob Latimore as teen Bilal.

The animated feature won the award for Best Inspiring Movie at Animation Day in Cannes 2016, and was also nominated at Asia Pacific Screen Awards (2016) for Best Animated Feature Film, Best Use of Animation at the Digital Studio Award (2017), and Innovative Production of the Year at Broadcast Middle East Award (2015).

Here’s the official synopsis, and you can watch the trailer in the player below:

1,400 years ago. Bilal, a seven-year-old boy, finds himself with his sister under the tyranny of slavery. He bears many burdens of life in his childhood from which he discovers inner strength he did not know he possessed before. Bilal knew from the bottom of his heart that he must be brave enough to raise his voice and choose his own path, and that everything is possible with determination. His courage was able to undo his handcuffs and set him free. His strong beautiful voice was a real gift from the Creator, but the voice of faith has made his childhood dream come true.

Bilal will be released globally in February 2018.

Source: Palm Springs International Animation Festival

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