1. Media Space

  2. Press Releases

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.


October 24, 2022 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

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: mediaspace.nfb.ca/epk/waiting-for-raif

  • 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.

– 30 –

French version here | Version française ici.

Media Relations

  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.