EXCLUSIVE: Canadian sales company APL Film has acquired international sales rights for Canadian-British writer and director Shamim Sarif’s drama Polarized, a love story between two women separated by race and religion.
The film will screen in the market as part of the selection of Telefilm Canada’s Perspective Canada initiative. Holly Deveaux co-stars as a white farm worker who is fired for racism and then falls in love with her Palestinian boss, played by Maxine Denis. “I like to push the boundaries of the way queer women of color are portrayed,” said Sarif. “With Polarized, I believe it’s one of the first times in cinema that we see Palestinian immigrants onscreen who are successful, driving scientific innovation, and in the case of co-lead character Dalia, also queer.” The filmmaker said she had drawn on her own experiences as well as those of her wife and producer Hanan Kattan, who is of Palestinian heritage. “I was raised in a South Asian Muslim family, so these specific immigrant experiences are very familiar to us.
We know first-hand the challenges and taboos that continue to exist around being queer in eastern and Muslim cultures,” she explained.
Polarized is Sarif’s fifth feature, with previous credits including Despite The Falling Snow. Kattan produced under the banner of Enlightenment Productions with Juliette Hagopian of Juliette Inc.