I Promise You Paradise to compete at Festival of African Cinema in Spain

Ahram Online , Thursday 9 May 2024

Egyptian short film I Promise You Paradise is scheduled for screening at the Festival of African Cinema (FCAT). Directed by Morad Mostafa, the film will compete in Tarifa as part of the Spanish run of the festival.

I Promise You Paradise
The cover of the movie I Promise You Paradise . Photo courtesy of Rotten tomato website.


The FCAT is known as the Tarifa-Tangier African Film Festival, held in Tarifa, Spain, from 24 May to 1 June, and in Tangier, Morocco, between 24 and 28 May. 

Co-written by Mostafa and Sawsan Yusuf, the film premiered at the 62nd Critics Week of the 76th Cannes Film Festival (2023), winning the Rail d'Or Award for best short film. 

The film was then screened at more than 40 international festivals, winning several awards, including Special Jury Mention at the Bucharest Short Film Festival, Romania (2023), Outstanding Short Film Award at the Cinefést Sudbury (2023), and Bagmati Award for International Short Film at Nepal Film Festival (2023).

The film follows Eissa, a 17-year-old African migrant in Egypt. "Intimate, political, and deeply rooted in contemporary social reality, I Promise You Paradise portrays a silent, yet determined, teenager who will stop at nothing to save his loved ones," read a Cannes critique.

I Promise You Paradise is not Mostafa’s first successful film. The director is also known for his short Henet Ward (Ward's Henna Party, 2020), which won the Special Jury Award at Palm Springs International ShortFest (2020). Henet Ward garnered 15 other awards and more than 50 nominations.

Mostafa had worked as an assistant director in Ayten Amin's feature-length narrative film Souad. The film was Egypt's entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards but was not nominated.

The FCAT kicked off in 2004 under the name African Film Festival of Tarifa, a non-competitive event, and soon extended to Tangier. In its fourth edition, it became a competition festival. The 2012 edition saw its leg in Cordoba, Spain.

The FCAT competitive segments include African Dream, screening feature-length films; Across the Strait, dedicated to documentaries; and Africa in Short, a segment presenting short films. 

All the films screened at the festival were made by African directors or produced by an African country in the past two years.

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