Amjad Al-Rasheed’s critically acclaimed Jordanian film “Inshallah A Boy” — Jordan’s official representative in the race for the 2024 Academy Award for Best International Feature Film — has joined the selections for the third edition of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea International Film Festival, which is set to take place in Jeddah, from November 30th to December 9th.
A multi-award-winning feature — with eight international awards under its belt so far — “Inshallah A Boy” recently added two awards to its growing repertoire, the Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Performance and the Best Screenplay for a Narrative Feature Award at the sixth Mystic Film Festival.
It also won the Gan Foundation Award and the Rail D'Or for Best Feature Film — both bestowed upon it at the Cannes Film Festival, where it made history as the first Jordanian feature to participate in the festival’s Critics’ Week section.
Additionally, the film has four other awards — Best Actress and Special Jury Awards at the Rotterdam Arab Film Festival and the Women’s Jury and Grand Jury Awards at the Paysages de Cinéastes Festival.
Besides all that, it featured at several international festivals such as Karlovy Vary, Melbourne, BFI London, Sydney, Toronto, Hamburg, New Zealand, and World Cinema Amsterdam.
“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.
This film marks Al-Rasheed's second collaboration with MAD Solutions, 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 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).