Following a screening at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, "Bilal: A New Breed of Hero" is set for release on Sept. 8.
Created by Dubai-based animation studio Barajoun Entertainment and the Middle East's leading film distributor, Gulf Film, the $30 million film premiered on Animation Day at Cannes. It received the Best Inspiring Movie award at the festival. The film was also selected to screen at the biggest animation market and animated film festival in the world, Annecy 2016.
The purpose of the film is to bring an Arabic hero to life. Ayman Jamal, producer and managing partner at Barajoun, said the company was inspired by movies on Malcolm X and Gandhi, and wanted to bring a regional hero to life in a similar way.
“We all watch Marvel heroes; we like them, but I feel there’s a gap in showing real-life heroes. The same way we saw Gandhi, we hope to get real life heroes to inspire the youth,” he said.
The film's plot presents the life of Bilal Ibn Rabah, one of the most trusted and loyal companions of Prophet Muhammad. He became a hero in history and goes from braving oppression to eventually becoming a respected leader and an inspiration for generations to come. The story is one of self discovery, hope and faith.