These events were scheduled April 27, 28, & 30, 2024.

Mountain Boy, a live-action family adventure film, will screen three times during the upcoming San Luis Obispo International Film Festival. Exclusive Q&A sessions after each screening will allow audiences to engage with director Zainab Shaheen and writer/producer Nancy Paton to explore the making of the film and its impactful themes.

“We’re thrilled to be screening the magic of Mountain Boy at SLO Film Festival during Autism Awareness Month,” Paton says.

“We’re not just telling a story,” according to Shaheen. “We’re inviting you on an immersive journey that we hope will linger in audience members’ hearts long after the credits roll.”

The film’s mostly female production team mentored Emirati and Gulf women filmmakers to build its national skilled crew base.

Mountain Boy unfolds the extraordinary tale of Suhail, a young Emirati boy with autism, who defies societal norms and embarks on a transformative journey through the mesmerizing mountains of Fujairah. With his loyal companion Barakah, an Arabian Saluki dog, Suhail seeks acceptance, family, and a true home, in a narrative that is as visually spectacular as it is emotionally resonant.

Based on the award-winning UAE children’s book The Boy Who Knew the Mountains by Dr. Michele Ziolkowski, the film sheds light on neurodiversity. It promises to enchant audiences with its heart-warming narrative, stunning cinematography and powerful exploration of acceptance and redemption.

The film screens at 10:30 a.m. April 27 at the Fremont Theatre, and 5 p.m. April 28 & 2:30 p.m. April 30 at Downtown Center Cinemas. The Q&A sessions immediately follow the screenings.

Editor’s Note: Read SLO Review’s exclusive review of Mountain Boy by Paula McCambridge.