Egyptian director Morad Mostafa's new short film to compete at Cannes

Eslam Omar , Wednesday 19 Apr 2023

I Promise You Paradise, or Eissa, the new short film by Egyptian award-winning director Morad Mostafa will premiere and compete at the upcoming 76th edition of the Cannes International Film Festival in May 2023.

I Promise You Paradise
A shot from Egyptian director Morad Mostafa s latest short film I Promise You Paradise Eissa


The film will compete in the French festival's 62nd Semaine de la Critique (Critics’ Week) between 17 May and 25.

Critics’ Week’s artistic director, Ava Cahen, unveiled the line-up for the short film competition on Wednesday, combining 10 films.

Written by Mostafa and Sawsan Yusuf, the film features Kenyi Marcellino and Kenzy Mohamed.

I Promise You Paradise follows the story of Eissa, a 17-year-old African immigrant in Egypt, who strives to beat the clock to save his loved ones after a violent incident.

The film’s producers include Sawsan Yusuf, Margaux Lorier, Baho Bakhsh and Safei Eldin Mahmoud, with Ahmed Gamal and Mohamed Ismail serving as executive producers.

The film’s crew also includes cinematographer Mostafa El-Kashef, editor Mohamad Mamdouh, art director Eman Elalby and sound designer Moustafa Shabban.

Mostafa thanked the festival’s organisers and his crew in a viral Facebook post.

Morad Mostafa, 35, has been touring the world in recent years with his first three short films: Henet Ward, What We Don't Know About Mariam and Khadiga, which have competed in over 100 festivals across the globe and earned him dozens of awards, including Oscar and BAFTA qualifying awards.

Mostafa previously worked as an assistant director for many important names, including Hala Khalil, Sherif El-Bendary, Mohamed Diab and Ayten Amin in her 2020 Cannes-selected feature Souad.

Last year, Mostafa was invited to attend the 75th edition of the Cannes Film Festival among the 10 directors selected for the La Fabrique Cinéma programme for his debut feature film, Aisha Can’t Fly Away Anymore.

Another Arabic film competing at Critics’ Week this year is Amjad Al-Rasheed's Inshallah Walad (Inshallah A Boy) which was announced earlier this week in the long feature category. It will be Jordan's first-ever film to premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival.

The Critics’ Week’s short film selection was unveiled on Wednesday as follows:

Arkhé (Mexico), directed by Armando Navarro

Boléro (France), directed by Nans Laborde-Jourdàa

Contadores (Spain), directed by Irati Gorostidi Agirretxe

Corpos Cintilantes (Portugal), directed by Inês Teixeira

Paradis (Egypt, France, Qatar), directed by Morad Mostafa

Crocodile (Poland), directed by Dawid Bodzak

The Purple Season (France), directed by Clémence Bouchereau

The Real Truth about the Fight (Croatia-Spain), directed by Andrea Slaviček

Via Dolorosa (France), directed by Rachel Gutgarts

Walking With Her into the Night (China), directed by Hui SHU

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