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Apple’s first-ever narrative feature acquisition out of the Sundance Film Festival, the coming-of-age indie drama Hala, is set to bow on the company’s nascent streaming service Dec. 6.
The company previously announced that Minhal Baig’s debut feature, executive produced by Jada Pinkett Smith, would open in select theaters Nov. 22, fifteen days before it hits Apple TV+ as an Apple Original film. The company also released the first official trailer for the film (see above).
Written and produced by Baig and based on a short film she made in 2016, Hala centers on the titular character, an only child to Pakistani immigrants. With high school graduation looming, Hala is bursting with sexual desire. When she meets Jesse, a classmate who shares her love for poetry and skateboarding, their romance is complicated by her Muslim faith and a father who is prepared to arrange her marriage according to their family’s cultural tradition.
Hala had its world premiere at Sundance earlier this year and received a spirited reception at a packed Library Center Theatre in Park City. It was also in the official selection at Toronto.
Hala is played by Australian actress Geraldine Viswanathan, who was named one of TIFF’s Rising Stars of 2019. The film also stars Jack Kilmer, Gabriel Luna, Anna Chlumsky, Azad Khan and Purbi Joshi.
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