Front Row has partnered with Cinema Akil, the UAE’s primary arthouse and independent cinema venue to exclusively release the controversial Michael Jackson documentary LEAVING NEVERLAND at their location in Al Serkal Avenue.
Leaving Neverland will have a limited run that will include a panel discussion revolving around the allegations and the debate surrounding them. This panel discussion and screening will take place on Saturday, 27 April with the regional media in attendance. Screenings will take place on April 24 (7 pm), Wednesday; 27 April, Saturday (2.00 pm along with a discussion) and Wednesday, May 1 (7 pm). Details about screenings are available on Cinema Akil’s web site.
Front Row acquired the MENA distribution rights to Leaving Neverland in February this year at the European Film Market Berlin. Front Row’s CEO Gianluca Chakra, and Acquisitions and Marketing Director, Elie Touma completed the deal.
The two-part documentary Leaving Neverland explores the separate but parallel experiences of two young boys, James “Jimmy” Safechuck, at age ten, and Wade Robson, at age seven, both of whom were befriended by Michael Jackson. They and their families were invited into his wondrous world, entranced by the singer’s fairy-tale existence as his career reached its peak.
Through gut-wrenching interviews with Safechuck, now 37, and Robson, now 41, as well as their mothers, wives and siblings, Leaving Neverland crafts a portrait of sustained abuse, exploring the complicated feelings that led both men to confront their experiences after both had a young son of their own.
The documentary recently had its world premiere in the Special Events section at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Among the early critical raves for the documentary, Rolling Stone described it as “hard to watch, tougher to ignore, impossible to forget…a portrait of bravery,” and the Hollywood Reporter called it “harrowing, complicated and heartbreaking,” while Variety hailed the documentary’s “devastatingly powerful and convincing testimony.”