Saudi Arabia’s dark comedic crime thriller, Mandoob (Night Courier), is set to premiere at the ongoing 35th Palm Springs International Film Festival from January 4th to January 15th.
The film, which is supported by the Red Sea Film Foundation, will have its US premiere at the festival. The movie had already achieved remarkable success in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, grossing US$1.58m from 114,000 admissions on its release in December 2021.
This achievement is noteworthy because Mandoob is the highest-grossing local title since the Saudi Arabian government lifted a 35-year ban on operating cinemas in December 2017. The film has maintained its position at the top of the Saudi box office for three consecutive weeks.
Mandoob had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September before screening at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah in December.
The film is directed by Ali Kalthami and produced by studio Telfaz11, co-founded by Kalthami.
According to the producers, the film was shot entirely in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.
The narrative follows the protagonist Fahad, who, after being fired from his job in a call centre, turns to the underworld of Riyadh as a booze runner. The plot unfolds as Fahad grapples with adversity to save his ailing father.
Mandoob also secured the second-largest opening for an Arabic film in the territory, following the Egyptian romantic comedy Bahebek (I Love You), which amassed approximately US$3 million from 126,000 admissions in July 2022.