Nat Geo Documentary Films Picks Up Sundance Doc ‘Saudi Runaway’

A still from Saudi Runaway by Susanne Regina Meures, an official selection of the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute. All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or 'Courtesy of Sundance Institute.' Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

National Geographic Documentary Films, distributers of the Oscar-winning Free Solo and Oscar-nominated The Cave, has obtained the rights to Saudi Runaway, the Susanne Regina Meures-directed documentary that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and is slated to screen at Berlin International Film Festival.

It’s a story about a brave young woman who daringly takes her fate into her own hands at great personal risk. The doc follows Muna, a young woman in Saudi Arabia reckoning with her upcoming arranged marriage and a life controlled by her domineering father.

When Muna hatches a plan to escape, she uses her cell phone to secretly document her claustrophobic existence and her flight to freedom. Working in close collaboration with director Susanne Meures (whom she spoke with multiple times a day for months), the result is a never-before-seen view inside Saudi Arabia’s patriarchal culture and the riveting story of one woman who risks everything to break free. Though a logistical and technical challenge to direct from afar, a rare cinematic narrative was crafted under Meures’ guidance.

The deal was negotiated by Stefan Kloos for Rise and Shine World Sales and Jason Ishikawa for Cinetic on behalf of the filmmakers.

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