Jordanian Oscar Entry INSHALLAH A BOY to release in French cinemas on March 6th

05 March 2024
The first-ever Jordanian feature film to be selected for Cannes and the country’s entry to the Oscars INSHALLAH A BOY by Amjad Al-Rasheed is gearing up for its highly anticipated release in French cinemas on Wednesday, March 6th, fresh off scoring its 12th award from the third edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival. 
After a historic world premiere at Cannes, where it won two prestigious awards — the Gan Foundation Award and the Rail D'Or Award for Best Feature Film — this cinematic gem from Al-Rasheed went on an award-winning spree, wowing audiences and bagging over a dozen awards during its highly successful festival tour. 
The most recent of these awards is the Best Performance Award from the Red Sea International Film Festival, the Best Screenplay for a Narrative Feature Award from the Mystic Film Festival, the Best Performance from the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, and the Golden Frog for Best Directorial Debut at the esteemed Camerimage IFF in Poland. 
Moreover, during its tour of over 30 film festivals, the film has generated a huge buzz and gotten rave reviews from prominent international and local critics from A-list media publications like Screen Daily, the New York Times, Variety, Al Jazeera, and Independent Arabia, all of whom praised its compelling narrative, masterful direction, and exceptional performances, establishing it as a standout cinematic masterpiece across Jordan’s nascent film industry. 
Among these reviews on the international stage is one from Variety’s Jessica Kiang, who started her article with a strong headline: ‘A Gripping Social Drama About Systemic Oppression That Morphs into a Masterful Thriller.’ 
Meanwhile, Tara Judah of Screen Daily praised the impressive work of cinematographer Kanamé Onoyama, commending him on his deft “use of scope and framing to maintain the intimacy of the story,” and Lisa Kennedy of the New York Times described it as “tense and accomplished directorial debut.” 
On another front, the film received similar love and attention from regional news outlets, with Iman Mohamed from Al Jazeera writing about how its “scenes inspired by reality conveyed the brilliance of their creators,” and Howaida Hamdy of Al Rasseef News discussing how “the film explodes like gunpowder in a conservative society, and boldly addresses what some consider taboo.” 
INSHALLAH A BOY tells the story of the recently widowed Nawal, who has to save her daughter and home following her husband’s death in a society where having a son is a game changer.
Directed by Al-Rasheed and co-written alongside Delphine Agut 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 and co-produced by 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.
A Jordanian director and writer born in 1985, Al-Rasheed holds an MFA in cinematic arts with a focus on directing and editing. In 2016, he was selected by Screen International as one of five Arab Stars of Tomorrow — a list highlighting the up-and-coming young talents of the region. He also attended the Talent Campus during the 57th Berlinale, after which he directed short films that garnered nominations and won prizes at various Arab and international film festivals.
His filmography includes THE PARROT — a short film he co-directed in 2016 that was funded by the Film Prize of the Robert Bosch Stiftung — HIT THE ROAD (2011), and BITTER DAYS (2010).
As for Rula Nasser, she is an independent Jordanian producer with extensive experience in different aspects of the production of commercials, TV series, and low-budget films, all the way to big-budget studio films. 
She kicked off her career working on projects with the BBC and Discovery and then worked for five years with the Jordanian Royal Film Commission before founding The Imaginarium Films in 2011. Since then the company’s productions have been selected for all manner of prestigious film festivals, including Cannes, Venice, Berlinale, and Toronto.