Jordan’s new rom-com, When Monaliza Smiled, screened at the Royal Film Commission in Jordan on Tuesday. On the film’s Facebook page, positive reviews for the film have been flowing steadily ever since.
“The film, [...] set to hit local theatres soon, is another major milestone that highlights the emergence of a dream to create a film industry in Jordan,” writes Fadi Zaghmout on the Arab Observer, “[a] film industry which is still [in] its infancy, has no pre-set formulas, no expectations, and no previous success stories to copy.”
Fadi G. Haddad’s When Monaliza Smiled tells the love story between Jordanian Monaliza and Egyptian Hamdi, and is set in present day Amman among a community of nosy neighbours and other quirky characters. It highlights social prejudices linked to immigration through a romantic lens, he writes, and the result is a “feel good” film that is reminiscent of Nadine Labaki’s Caramel.
When Monaliza Smiled not only gives homage to old Egyptian films through its black-and-white sequences, but also brings together both older and younger Jordanian acting talents.
“I can’t help but to mention that both the producer and the executive producer of this film are women. Hats off to Nadia Eliwat and Nadine Toukan for taking on this challenge and contribut[ing] with this milestone [to] help establish Jordan as a filmmaking hub.”
More information: broadcastprome
When Monaliza Smiled - trailer: