The Hollywood Reporter Describes it as a 'Toronto Hidden Gem'
While world premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Egyptian Cinema Syndicate hasselectedthe film Sheikh Jackson by director Amr Salama to be Egypt's official submission to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign-Language Film. The final nominees for the Oscars will be announced on Tuesday, January 23, 2018.
After the selection of his film, Director Amr Salama posted on his official Facebook page, "I'm so happy and proud with this nomination. My aim from the very beginning was to go beyond boundaries with this film and I believe that we already started doing that."
Sheikh Jackson is currently screening at the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival within the Special Presentations programme that specializes in presenting world premieres or Canadian premieres of the year's awaited films, in addition to the most recent films by the world's leading filmmakers. In this section, Sheikh Jackson is competing for the prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) and the Audience Award. The Hollywood Reporter has described the film as a 'Toronto Hidden Gem'. In the same article, the magazine mentioned that Salama described the film's end result as a "love letter to life and accepting all of your contradictions".
Sheikh Jackson is set to make its Egyptian and Arab world premiere by opening the first edition of El Gouna Film Festival (September 22 - 29), where it will be competing within the festival's Feature Narrative Competition. The film is also going to have its European premiere at the 61st BFI London Film Festival (October 4-15) within the Journey section that aims to screen films that would transport the viewers and shift their perspectives.
The events of the film take us back to June 25, 2009 as the news of Michael Jackson's death took the world by storm affecting many, especially a preacher who is dubbed "Jackson" during his school days. But, what does a preacher have in common with the King of Pop? More importantly, can he now go back to his normal life, or will his memories and relationships with his loved ones raise the most prominent question in his mind? Is he the Sheikh, Jackson, or both?
Co-produced by The Producers, Film Clinic and iProductions with Daniel Ziskind as associate producer, Sheikh Jackson is written and directed by Amr Salama and co-written by Omar Khaled. The film stars Ahmad Al Fishawy, Maged El Kedwany, Ahmed Malek, and Amina Khalil. The film will also feature several guest stars, including Dorra, Basma, and Mahmoud El Bezawy. The German company Media Luna is responsible for distributing the film outside the Arab world. MAD Solutions, the company handling the film's marketing, has designed the Sheikh Jackson's poster that is used regionally and internationally.