The Cannes Film Festival recently announced that Amjad Al-Rasheed’s debut feature INSHALLAH A BOY — the first ever Jordanian film in history to be selected by the French festival — will be holding its world premiere on Thursday, May 18th as part of the event’s 76th edition, which will be running from May 16th to the 27th.
More specifically, the film will be featured in the festival's Critics' Week and is set to be the first-ever Jordanian movie to feature at Cannes when it premieres on Thursday, May 18th in the attendance of the film’s cast and crew, including actors Mouna Hawa, Mohammad Al Jizawi, Yumna Marwan, and Salwa Nakkara; producers Rula Nasser and Aseel Abu Ayyash; Co-Producers Youssef Abdelnabi, and Nicolas Leprêtre; the Co-Founders of MAD Solutions, Alaa Karkouti and Maher Diab as well as Shahinaz Elakkad, CEO of Lagoonie Film Production.
Additionally, sound recordist Nour Halawani, editor Ahmed Hafez, and the music composers Jerry Lane and Andrew Lancaster will be among the attendees.
INSHALLAH A BOY will have seven official screenings throughout the festival, three of which will be held at Espace Miramar on Thursday, May 18th — two at 11:30 am and 5 pm in the presence of the film’s crew, and another at 10 pm. Meanwhile, two screenings will be held on Friday, May 19th— one at the same venue at 8:30 am, and another at 9:30 pm at the Alexandre III theater.
The remaining two screenings will all be held on Friday, May 19th — one at 8:30 pm over dinner at Cinema Les Visiteurs du Soir - Valbonne—a commune near Nice in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France— in the presence of the director, who will be available afterward for a Q&A; and another at Alexandre III at 9:30 pm.
The film will also have four market screenings set for Wednesday, May 17th at 2:15 pm at Palais I, Friday, May 19th at 11:30 am at Palais H, Saturday, May 20th at 11:30 am at Palais H, and Tuesday, May 23rd at 6:15 pm at LERINS 2.
INSHALLAH A BOY follows the story of Nawal, who after the sudden death of her husband has to save her daughter and home in a society where having a son is a game changer.
The film kicked off its journey as a project, joining several international workshops, including the 79th Venice International Film Festival's Final Cut, where it nabbed a La Biennale di Venezia Prize and a cash award. Moreover, it received two cash awards from the El Gouna Film Festival and Festival International de Films de Fribourg.
INSHALLAH A BOY also received a production and post-production support from Jordan's Royal Film Commission in two cycles, post-production grant from the Red Sea Lodge, production support from the Doha Film Institute, post-production Award from CNC, and a monetary prize from the Arab Radio and Television Network at the fifth Cairo Film Connection.
Directed by Al-Rasheed and co-written alongside Delphine Augte and Rula Nasser, the film stars Mouna Hawa, Haitham Omari, Salwa Nakkara, Yumna Marwan, Mohammad Al-Jizawi, Islam Al-Awadi, and Celina Rabab'a.
Additionally, the film was produced by Nasser and Abu Ayyash; co-produced by Youssef Abdelnabi, Raphaël Alexandre, and Nicolas Leprêtre; associate produced by Alaa Karkouti, Maher Diab, and Shahinaz El-Akkad; lensed by Kanamé Onoyama, edited by the prolific Ahmed Hafez; sound mixed by Nour Halawani; and scored by Jerry Lane. Also, Zeina Soufan and Nasser Zoubi served as the project's costume and production designers respectively.
In terms of the larger companies at play, the film was produced by Imaginarium Films, Georges Films, and Bayt Al-Shawareb. Meanwhile, MAD Solutions and Lagoonie Film Production are in charge of distributing it all over the Arab world and Pyramide International is handling international sales and distribution in France.
This film marks Al-Rasheed's second collaboration with MAD, as the distribution giant handled marketing for his short film THE PARROT, which he co-directed.
The film went on to receive several international awards, including the Jury Award for Best Short Film at the Mizna's Twin Cities Arab Film Festival in the US and the Malmö Arab Film Festival. The film also held its world premiere at the 2016 Dubai International Film Festival and is available for streaming on OSN.
A Jordanian director and writer born in 1985, Al-Rasheed holds an MFA in cinematic arts with a focus on directing and editing.