First Jordanian film to compete in Cannes Film Festival next month

Director Amjad Al Rasheed's first feature film will be part of Cannes Critics’ Week

Inshallah Walad is the first Jordanian film to compete at Cannes Film Festival. Photo: The Royal Film Commission - Jordan
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Jordan will make its film debut at Cannes Film Festival next month.

The country’s Royal Film Commission has announced that Inshallah Walad, will be the first Jordanian film to take part in the French festival.

Jordanian filmmaker Amjad Al Rasheed's first feature film will compete in Critics' Week — a sidebar that that will run alongside the 76th outing of the world's most prestigious film festival.

Screening over 90 minutes, the film depicts a chapter in the life of Nawal, a young widow, mother and home care worker.

Named Inshallah a Boy in English, the film is set in the Jordanian capital and follows the woman as she fights for independence for herself and her daughter following the death of her husband.

Al Rasheed previously told Variety magazine that he grew up in a family mostly of women, where he listened to their stories “about separation, infidelity, mistreatment, sacrifice and even abuse,” which made him determined to use filmmaking “to highlight women’s struggles”.

The film, which won the Final Cut prize at the Venice Film Festival last year, stars Palestinian actress Mouna Hawa as the lead. It also features Haitham Al Omari, Salwa Nakkara, Yumna Marwan, Mohammad AI Jizawi and Eslam Al Awadi.

“Jordanian filmmakers are reaching new horizons with their passion, perseverance and talent. They are now telling their stories to the World, and Cannes is the most sought-after platform for this,” said Mohannad Al Bakri, managing director of the Royal Film Commission.

Critics’ Week at Cannes is open to short and long films from all over the world, provided the work submitted is the first or second film for its director.

The showcase started in 1962, and is marking its 62nd event this year, from May 17 until May 25.

The seven-title competition features films from across the globe. These include Tiger Stripes, the first feature film from Malaysian director Amanda Nell Eu and Power Alley from Brazilian director Lilah Halla.

Korean director Jason Yu's Sleep is also in the running alongside Belgian filmmaker Paloma Sermon-Dai's It Is Raining In The House.

Serbian director Vladimir Perisic’s second feature Lost Country and Le Ravissement from French director Iris Kaltenback round out the showcase.

On Wednesday, the official poster for the 76th Festival de Cannes was unveiled, starring French cinema star Catherine Deneuve.

Updated: April 21, 2023, 8:07 AM