Bilal: A New Breed of Hero
|Bilal: A New Breed of Hero|
Khurram H. Alavi|
Arif Jilani (Exec Producer)
Gene Lim (Exec Producer)
|Story by||Ayman Jamal|
China Anne McClain
|Music by||Atli Örvarsson|
|Edited by||Patricia Heneine|
|Distributed by||AMBI Distribution|
|Country||United Arab Emirates|
Bilal: A New Breed of Hero is a 3D computer-animated action-adventure film produced by Barajoun Entertainment. The story is by Ayman Jamal, with screenplay by Alex Kronemer, Michael Wolfe, Yassin Kamel and Khurram H. Alavi. With this film, Jamal aimed to depict ‘real-life’ heroes from the rich history of the Arabian Peninsula. He has pursued this project for over 7 years. BILAL premiered on the 9th of December 2015 at the 12th Annual International Dubai Film Festival, and was released later on throughout the MENA region starting September 8, 2016. It has received positive reviews and much box office success. It has won “The Best Inspiring Movie” on the Animation Day during Cannes Film Festival and “Best Innovative Movie” at the BroadCast Pro Middle East Award. “BILAL” is also nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards or “APSA”, the region’s highest accolade for film. APSA winners will be announced on the 24th of November 2016 in Brisbane, Australia.
The film is directed by Khurram H. Alavi and Ayman Jamal who has also served as the producer, alongside Arif Jilani & Gene Lim as the Executive Producers. “BILAL” is edited by Patricia Heneine, with assistant editing and story/script duties by Nour Cheikh Alard.
It depicts the life of Bilal ibn Rabah, who, known for his beautiful voice, freed himself from slavery and rose to a position of prominence in 632 AD. The voice cast features Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ian McShane, China Anne McClain, Jacob Latimore, Thomas Ian Nichols, Fred Tatascoire, Cynthia Kaye Williams, John Curry, Dave Mitchel, Michael Gross and many more.
Barajoun Entertainment employed world class talent from around the globe to adhere to high quality industry standards, developing its own unique pipeline that caters to Barajoun’s unique visual flair. Set some 1400 years ago, in a region which was then known as Hejaz, “BILAL” tells the story of a young Ethiopian boy who dreams of being a great warrior. One fateful day, Bilal and his sister Ghufaira are abducted and taken to Makkah where they are sold to one of the most powerful Merchants of Arabia, Umayya. Having spent countless years under the tyranny of his master, Bilal, now a grown man decides to raise his voice and make a change.
Bilal, is a bright eyed carefree boy ignited with fanciful imagination, a beautiful voice and a dream only a 7 year old can conjure. On a day as similar as any, this dream turns into a nightmare when the village he lives in is ransacked, orphaning him and his younger sister, Ghufaira and taking them to a land far away from home. Thrown in a world where greed and injustice rule all, Bilal and Ghufaira find themselves bound to the chaotic whims of the most powerful man in Makkah, the ruthless Umayya. Dreams of freedom and the warrior Bilal once fantasized he would become, are kept deep in his yearning heart. Bilal will soon learn he must choose his own fate & finally finds the courage to raise his voice. Bilal will challenge everything.
- Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Bilal Ibn Rabah (adult)
- Ian McShane as Umayya Ibn Khalaf
- China Anne McClain as Ghufaira
- Thomas Ian Nicholas as Saad Bin Abi Waqqas
- Michael Gross as Okba
- Cynthia McWilliams as Hamama
- Jacob Latimore as Bilal Ibn Rabah (teen)
- Fred Tatasciore as Al-Siddiq
- Jon Curry as Sohaib Al Rumi
- Mick Winge rt as Safwan Ibn Umayya (adult)
- Dave B. Mitchell as Hamza Bin Abdul Muttalib
- Al Rodrigo as Abu Al Hakam
- Andre Robinson as Bilal Ibn Rabah (child)
- Sage Ryan as Safwan Ibn Umayya (teen)
- Quinton Flynn as Additional Voice
Ayman Jamal pursued the project for over 7 years, doing intense research in order to pay homage to the countless historical accounts and descriptions of the characters and set locations in the movie. He finally founded Barajoun Entertainment in 2013, establishing the company in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It was truly challenging for Jamal to both open an animation studio and develop the animated feature simultaneously, as both endeavors were the first of their kind within the MENA region.
State of the art facilities were employed in the pursuit of industry standard content development enabling Barajoun to deliver a movie that is on par with any international animated feature.
“BILAL” film features an ensemble of highly detailed and imaginative elements. It boasts a stylized world with complex characters and setups, props and environments.
The score of “BILAL” film is composed by Atli Örvarsson and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studio. Örvarsson employed a unique blend of Icelandic music fused with Oriental music in order to develop a language that spoke to a wider audience. Music recording and mixing engineer on the show was Steve McLaughlin. Stephen Gallagher performed mix duties during the final mix of the show. He also developed and executed the song “Distant Shadows”, with lyrics by Khurram H. Alavi.
The musical score along with the sound design were mixed and finalized at Peter Jackson’s Park Road Post in Wellington, New Zealand. The final mix was handled by academy award winning Michael Hedges and his team of seasoned PRP engineers.
“BILAL” Official Soundtrack will be released soon.
A special screening was held at the Ajyal Youth Film Festival in Doha, Qatar on 9 November 2015. The film premiered at the 12th Annual Dubai International Film Festival on 9 December 2015. “BILAL” continued its festival circuit over the course of 2016 being screened in Berlin, Cannes, Annecy and Toronto.
The film was released in cinemas all across the MENA region. It is faring well with film critics satisfied thus far. A global release is imminent.
Awards / Nominations
“BILAL” was officially selected at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival under Best Feature Film. The film is also nominated for APSA, the region’s highest accolade in film for Best Animated Feature Film after winning “Best inspiring Movie” in Animation Day in Cannes Festival and “Best Innovative Movie” at the BroadCast Pro Middle East Award.
- "Press Kit". Bilal Movie. Barajoun Entertainment. Retrieved May 25, 2016.
- Bilal: A New Breed of Hero at the Internet Movie Database
- Official website
- Facebook page
- bilal in the filmfestivals.com
- CG Animation BILAL at Cannes Film Festival