Four Diverse Women Achieve International Film Success

London, United Kingdom (PressExposure) June 12, 2009 -- FOUR WOMEN, MANY SKILLS – ONE POWERFUL TEAM Multi-faceted creative and producing partnership achieves international film success

When a film that at its heart is about the unique relationship between women it is perhaps unsurprising that it is written, directed, financed and produced by a team of passionate, strong and accomplished women.

The World Unseen is the award-winning motion picture directed by Shamim Sarif from a screenplay adapted by her from her acclaimed novel, produced by her personal and professional partner Hanan Kattan, and executively produced by the couple’s longtime friends Katherine Priestley and Lisa Tchenguiz. To date, The World Unseen has garnered 20 awards internationally.

Each of these independently successful women has brought something unique to the production through their individual skills, as well as coming from vastly different backgrounds. “I think we are all entrepreneurs with a wealth of different experiences and between us pretty much cover the spectrum of movie making. Collectively we feel we have unlimited resources of belief, enthusiasm and determination and these qualities are probably the dominating factors in independent movie making,” says Priestley.

Sarif - British, brought up Muslim and of Indian/South African heritage – is the creative drive and author of the critically acclaimed novel which she transformed into the screenplay for The World Unseen, before going on to direct the film.

Partner Kattan, who was brought up Christian of Palestinian descent, created Enlightenment Productions in partnership with Sarif to solidify the intense creative partnership between the two. The company is dedicated to producing entertaining, low to medium budget features that have integrity and individuality.

As co-founder of the alternative asset investment firm Lincoln Vale based in London and Boston, as well as being CFO and on the board of directors of various companies, British-born Katherine Priestley’s business acumen and financial skills are unrivalled. Her background is international and cosmopolitan, having been educated in the US and lived all over the world, including Japan.

An active investor in her own right, Iraqi Jewish Lisa Tchenguiz’s focus as executive producer for The World Unseen was sales and marketing to which she brings a unique flair. She has served in the same capacity on a second Enlightenment Productions film, I Can’t Think Straight, also directed by Sarif from her third novel. This film is also a multi award-winner, and was the official selection at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Although it is wholly appropriate that The World Unseen has this powerful feminine backbone, it wasn’t a conscious decision. “It just happened that the women who were in our lives and very dear to us were as passionate about the many deep layers in the novel and the film as we were,” says Kattan.

“I loved having such a strong group of women making this film,” says Tchenguiz . “A lot of my life has been defined by men – strong brothers and a father who was very much the head of our family – and The World Unseen’s themes and the way it was brought together seem to acknowledge that the ability and strength of women are often underestimated but very real.”

The couple has set up the Sarif Kattan Foundation to assist a variety of children charities with a focus on education and health. The World Unseen was recently shown at a black tie gala charity screening in aid of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, an organisation that is close to all four women’s hearts. “The NMC Fund is very important to us at many levels,” explains Kattan. As The World Unseen is a South African story with such universal themes of respect and integrity, we felt that it would be an honour to try to help out in any way we can.” The charity event was an opportunity to thank the country of South Africa for hosting the making of our film and to give something back. We hope to do more with them in the future, adds Priestley.

About Enlightenment Productions Enlightenment Productions is based in London, England. Formed in partnership between Hanan Kattan and Shamim Sarif, the company is dedicated to producing entertaining independent feature films of integrity. For more information, please visit:

About Enlightenment Films

Enlightenment Films has been created as a Sales Division of Enlightenment Productions. With the launch of their new Sales arm, Hanan and Shamim hope to extend their vision to partnerships with like-minded distributors. For more information, please visit: []

If you’d like more information, please contact Kerry-Ann at Enlightenment Films at +44 020 7824 8755 or e-mail

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Press Release Submitted On: June 11, 2009 at 7:12 am
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