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A Macumba Média / NFB co-production. Waiting for Raif, a powerful new documentary by Montreal filmmakers Luc Côté and Patricio Henriquez, opens across Quebec on November 4. Film chronicles the heartfelt 10-year journey of the Badawi family.

Montreal – WEBWIRE

Directed by Luc Côté and Patricio Henriquez, the feature documentary Waiting for Raif will open in theatres in Montreal, Quebec City and Sherbrooke on November 4. Other cities may also be added. As human rights issues continue to make the headlines, the film follows Ensaf Haidar’s inspiring battle to free her husband, renowned prisoner of conscience Raif Badawi. As his family continues to wait for him in Sherbrooke, he still cannot leave Saudi Arabia, despite being released from prison.

Waiting for Raif will have its world premiere on October 30 at the Festival du cinéma international en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (FCIAT). The Montreal premiere, which is open to the public, will be held on Friday, November 4, at the Cinéma du Musée, with the filmmakers, Ensaf Haidar and her son Tirad (Doudi) Badawi in attendance.

About the film

Waiting for Raif by Patricio Henriquez and Luc Côté (150 min)
Co-produced by Luc Côté and Patricio Henriquez for Macumba Média and Colette Loumède for the NFB’s Quebec, Canadian Francophonie and Acadian Documentary Studio
Press kit:

  • Filmed over a period of eight years, the documentary tells the tragic tale of a family torn apart by the Saudi monarchy’s intransigence, as it follows Ensaf Haidar’s inspiring battle to free her husband, prisoner of conscience Raif Badawi. Waiting for Raif offers a moving look at the personal and political implications of the affair, providing an inside view of the challenges faced by a young refugee mother of three, both in her adopted home of Quebec and on the global stage.

Screening in cinemas as of November 4 

Other Quebec cities may be added.

About the filmmakers

  • Born and raised in Chile, Patricio Henriquez moved to Montreal following the overthrow of the Allende government. After creating a number of news reports for Quebec television, in 1996 he co-founded the production house Macumba International, through which he’s directed a dozen political and social documentaries, including Under the Hood: A Voyage into the World of Torture and Uyghurs: Prisoners of the Absurd. These films have won more than 70 awards around the world. Waiting for Raif is the second film he’s co-directed with Luc Côté.
  • Since age 14, Luc Côté has been directing and producing social-issue documentaries that capture the diversity of human experience. A co-founder of Adobe Productions, he’s won many awards for his work over the years, including the IDFA Special Jury Prize for his first collaboration with Patricio Henriquez, You Don’t Like the Truth: 4 Days Inside Guantanamo.

French version here | Version française ici.

About the NFB

The NFB is Canada’s public producer and distributor of award-winning documentaries, auteur animation, interactive stories and participatory experiences, working with talented creators across the country. The NFB is taking action to combat systemic racism and become a more open and diverse organization, while working to strengthen Indigenous-led production and gender equity in film and digital media. NFB productions have won more than 7,000 awards, including 12 Oscars. To access this unique content, visit

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