National Geographic Documentary Films has acquired the worldwide rights to Susanne Regina Meures’ sophomore feature-length documentary Saudi Runaway following its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
The 88-minute film, which debuted as part of Sundance’s World Documentary Competition, serves as a look behind the curtain into Saudi Arabia’s patriarchal culture by providing an unprecedented look at one young woman, Muna, and her attempts to escape the country before she is arranged to marry.
In communication with filmmaker Meures for months ahead of her escape, Muna uses her cell phone to secretly document her “claustrophobic existence” and her flight to freedom.
“Muna is one of the strongest-willed and most courageous women I know,” said Meures in a statement. “She shares her pain and offers us a glimpse into a hidden world. Although the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is at the center of world affairs, very few authentic images of life there exist. Muna’s story is of great urgency and relevance and essentially summarizes a human rights drama at its core.”
Meures also serves as co-producer on the film, with Christian Frei of Christian Frei Film Productions producing.
The deal was negotiated by Stefan Kloos for Rise and Shine World Sales and Jason Ishikawa for Cinetic on behalf of the filmmakers.