Yemeniettes World Broadcast Premiere on Al-Saeedah TV in Yemen


LAYALINA’s feature doc Yemeniettes to premiere tonight in primetime on Alsaeedah TV

WASHINGTON, DC, September 5, 2014 – Layalina Productions, Inc., an American non-profit, announced that its most recent multiple award-winning feature documentary Yemeniettes will have its world broadcast premiere in primetime this evening on Yemen’s leading Al-Saeedah TV.

Yemeniettes follows the trials and tribulations of three Yemeni teenage girls and their start-up business in a country scarred by widespread youth unemployment and underemployment, a broken educational system and a threatening Al-Qaeda presence. Despite growing up in a conservative society where traditional gender roles are encouraged and perpetuated, Wafaa, Maha and Reem are determined to forge a better future for themselves.

The documentary shows a seldom seen side of Yemen, which most associate with terrorism and drone attacks. The teenage cast hopes to build a factory to manufacture solar panels in a country that experiences frequent power outages. This enterprising spirit lands them in a national entrepreneurship competition, and later helps them advance to the regional finals in Doha, Qatar where they compete against students from twelve other Arab countries in hopes of winning the title of Best Company of the Year.

Yemeniettes is a Layalina production. It is created, written and produced by Leon Shahabian and directed and edited by Shawn Thompson. Yemeniettes has won to date the Award of Merit in the feature documentary category from The Accolade Global Film Competition, as well the Award of Merit in the documentary feature category from The IndieFEST Film Awards, which recognize “Cinematic gems and unique voices.” It swept the 4th Silicon Valley Film Festival, where it won the Best Documentary Award, as well as the awards for Best Vision of the Future and Best Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

Additionally, it was Official Selection to the 38th Cleveland International Film Festival (top tier), the 6th Thin Line Film Festival in Denton, Texas; the 6th Millenium Film Festival in Brussels; the 4th World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies Film Festival in Ankara; as well as to the upcoming 10th Al Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival in Doha and the 31st Middle East Studies Association FilmFest in Washington, DC.

The broadcast of the documentary on Al-Saeedah TV will be followed by a monitoring and evaluation study to be conducted by Platform Agency. The M&E plan will quantify the impact of the show through surveys and focus groups with Yemeni viewers.

Mrs. Shannon Fairbanks, Layalina’s Chairman, said: “We’re delighted to bring a message of hope, female empowerment and entrepreneurship to Al-Saeedah’s audience in Yemen and hope it inspires others to be risk takers and to pursue their own dreams.”

Leon Shahabian, Layalina’s President and Executive Producer of Yemeniettes, added: “While Yemeniettes is finding success on the US and international festival circuits and resonating with diverse audiences, it’s fitting that the world broadcast premiere brings the film back home to Yemen. We look forward to introducing this inspirational story to TV viewers everywhere.”

Yemeniettes Grid Schedule

Al-Saeedah TV (NileSat 102, LyngSat)

World broadcast premiere: 9/5/2014 at 22:00 AST (Arabia Standard Time)

1st repeat on 9/6/2014 at 02:00 AST

2nd repeat on 9/6/2014 at 17:30 AST

To view the full Yemeniettes EPK, click here.

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