Two Egyptian films, Sheikh Jackson written and directed by Amr Salama (with co-director Omar Khaled) and Kiss Me Not written and directed by Ahmed Amer, will be screened during the 21st Shanghai International Film and TV Festival (16-25 June).
Sheikh Jackson takes part within the Spectrum section of the festival and its screenings are scheduled on 16, 21 and 22 June.
Sheikh Jackson is set on the day of Michael Jackson’s death in 2009, and centres on a sheikh who was dubbed "Jackson" by his friends during his schooldays. The story goes on to explore the emotions stirred by the popstar's death, sparking a series of existential questions within the sheikh.
The film stars Ahmad Al Fishawy, Maged El Kedwany, Ahmed Malek, along with guest stars Amina Khalil, Dorra, Basma and Mahmoud El Bezawy.
Sheikh Jackson landed its world premiere at the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival within the Special Presentations programme. The film made its Arab world premiere by opening the first edition of El Gouna Film Festival, where it competed in the festival's Feature Narrative Competition, and its European premiere was at the 61st BFI London Film Festival.
(Photo: still from Sheikh Jackson)
Kiss Me Not (Balash Tebosni) will be screened in Shanghai within The Belt and Road Film Week, with five screenings planned, on 16, 17, 18, 21 and 22 June.
Set up in 2016, The Belt and Road series is a programme that came as a cooperation between a Tallinn Black Night Film Festival and Cairo International Film Festival. In 2017, 14 countries’ participated in the Week with film screenings, discussions and opportunities to exchange ideas. With Egypt being among the core countries, this year The Belt and The Road Week will expand in the number of countries which will present their cinema industry.
Kiss Me Not follows a young and ambitious Egyptian director who faces challenges while shooting a kissing scene in his new film because the lead actress, Fajr, decides to pursue a more religious personal path.
The film stars Yasmin Raeis, Mohamed Mahran, and Salwa Mohamed Ali with guest stars actress Sawsan Badr, late director Mohamed Khan, and director Khairy Beshara.
The world premiere of the feature film Kiss Me Not took place in 2017, within the Arabian Nights programme at the 14th Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), one of the most prestigious film festivals in the Arab world.
(Photo: still from Kiss Me Not)
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