INSHALLAH A BOY named Jordan’s official submission for 96th Academy Awards

01 October 2023:

Hot on the heels of its double hat-trick of awards at Cannes, Rotterdam Arab Film Festival and Paysages de Cinéastes Festival, Amjad Al-Rasheed's INSHALLAH A BOY was just selected as Jordan’s official submission for Best Foreign Film at the 96th Academy Awards by the Royal Film Commission-Jordan. 
 
Following its historic world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival's Critics Week, where it received the Gan Foundation Award and the Rail d'Or Award for Best Feature Film, INSHALLAH A BOY has been making waves on the festival circuit, winning Best Actress and a Jury Award at the Rotterdam Arab Film Festival, as well as the Women's Jury Award and the Grand Jury Award at the Paysages de Cinéastes. 
 
With this joyful news, MAD Solutions, which distributes INSHALLAH A BOY in the Arab world, is now celebrating its success with three films from its distribution slate, this year, being submitted by their countries for best international feature at the 96th Academy Awards.
 
In addition to INSHALLAH A BOY, the other two films are Amr Gamal’s THE BURDENED and Mohamed Kordofani’s GOODBYE JULIA. 
 
Previously, INSHALLAH A BOY screened at a number of prestigious film festivals, including the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival, and the Sydney Film Festival, garnering widespread acclaim. 
 
Among the many favorable reviews the film received on the international and local levels was Stephanie Archer’s review on Film Inquiry, which lauded its “gorgeous cinematography and profound performance,” labeling it an “instant hidden gem of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.”
 
Meanwhile, David Katz from View of the Arts rated INSHALLAH A BOY five out of five and described it as “a powerful film that brings to light the complex interplay between tradition, gender, and inheritance.”
 
Ankit Jhunjhunwala from the International Cinephile Society also praised the film, saying, "Based on this gripping new film, anticipation for subsequent films from this region should be high."
 
The film follows 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.
 
INSHALLAH A BOY kicked off its journey as a project, joining several international workshops, including the 79th Venice International Film Festival's Final Cut, where it picked up 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.
 
It also received production and post-production support from Jordan's Royal Film Commission in two cycles, a post-production grant from the Red Sea Lodge, production support from the Doha Film Institute, a post-production Award from CNC, a monetary prize from the Arab Radio and Television Network at the fifth Cairo Film Connection, and a post-production award from the Atlas Workshop.
 
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.
 
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. 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).