Sheikh Jackson by Amr Salama will be released in theaters in eight Arab countries starting 7 December.
Following its Egyptian premiere as the opening film for the first El-Gouna Film festival last September, and topping the local box office, Sheikh Jackson will be released in UAE, Lebanon, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Syria and Iraq.
The film was announced as Egypt's official submission to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign-Language Film, and is hopeful join the nominees’ list to be announced in January 2018.
Sheikh Jackson is written and directed by Amr Salama and co-written by Omar Khaled, starring Ahmad Al Fishawy, Maged El Kedwany, Ahmed Malek, along with guest stars Amina Khalil, Dorra, Basma and Mahmoud El Bezawy.
The film is set on the day of Michael Jackson’s death in 2009, and centres on an Egyptian sheikh who was dubbed "Jackson" by his friends during his schooldays.
The story goes on to explore the emotions stirred by the pop star's death, sparking a series of existential questions within the sheikh.
According to MAD Solutions, which handles the film’s marketing, Sheikh Jackson is co-produced by The Producers, Film Clinic and iProductions. The German company Media Luna is responsible for distributing the film outside the Arab world, while Cleopatra Entertainment acquired the film's screening rights in North America planning to release it in theaters in the first quarter of 2018.
Sheikh Jackson had its world premiere at the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival within the Special Presentations programme, where it was nominated for the People's Choice Award.
The film has since been screened at BFI London Film Festival, Carthage Film Festival (JCC), Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), within the New Egyptian Cinema 2016-2017 section, and the Arab Cinema Week in New York.
For more arts and culture news and updates, follow Ahram Online Arts and Culture on Twitter at @AhramOnlineArts and on Facebook at Ahram Online: Arts & Culture