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Praised film “Saudi Runaway” – Zurich cinema shows documentary, but nobody is allowed to watch


The documentary “Saudi Runaway” received a lot of international praise. Now he comes to a Zurich cinema – but without an audience.

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The leading actress of “Saudi Runaway” on her escape.

The leading actress of “Saudi Runaway” on her escape.

Christian Frei Filmproductions

Zurich cinema Houdini shows

Zurich cinema Houdini shows “Saudi Runaway” 25 times without an audience.

Tamedia AG / Thomas Egli

Empty cinema hall in the Houdini.

Empty cinema hall in the Houdini.

Tamedia AG / Thomas Egli

  • The film “Saudi Runaway” is shown at the Houdini in Zurich.

  • But the audience won’t have it because a patron bought all the tickets.

  • The background is a decision by the leading actress and funding.

The Houdini cinema in Zurich will arrive from mid-August Swiss Film that caused a stir internationally. “Saudi Runaway” is to be screened a total of 25 times, but each time without an audience. The reason for this is a decision by the leading actress and fundingas reported by the “Tages-Anzeiger”.

The documentary premiered at the Sundance Festival in early 2020. The film is about a young Saudi woman who plans to flee for months and records it with cell phone recordings. The work received a lot of praise internationally.

Patrons bought all the tickets

But the film did not come to Switzerland, even though Swiss television co-produced the film. the Leading actress had asked the director and producer to den film not to be evaluated. Already in Film said she felt terrible about her escape plan, according to the article.

An unknown patron has now bought all the tickets for the performances in the Houdini, as the report says. Backgrund is a funding instrument from the Federal Office of Culture. Films that are internationally successful are financially rewarded. The prerequisite is that he is at least 25-mal is demonstrated in Switzerland. This is possible through the stranger.

200,000 francs credit

“With such a courageous project, a step back is to be accepted,” writes producer Christian Frei of the newspaper. The director, Susanne Meures, also shows understanding for the decision. The Federal Office of Culture says that thanks to the support, the film will be credited with an estimated 200,000 francs.

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