Egyptian director Morad Mostafa’s short Issa to compete at CIFF following Cannes

Ahram Online , Monday 22 May 2023

The latest short film of Egyptian award-winning director Morad Mostafa, I Promise You Paradise, or Issa, has been selected to participate in the upcoming 45th edition of the Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), after premiering in the ongoing 76th Cannes Film Festival.

Issa, I promise You Paradise
A shot from the trailer of latest short Issa of I Promise You Paradise by acclaimed Egyptian director Morad Mostafa


Issa will have its MENA premiere at the CIFF, taking place between 15 and 24 November at the Cairo Opera House.

“It is definitely an honour for any director to have his film selected to be showcased among such a distinguished audience with a great passion for watching rather amazing movies,” the director stated on Monday to the CIFF.

The film is currently competing amid the French Festival's 62nd Semaine de la Critique (Critics’ Week), taking place between 17 and 25 May.

The first screening is scheduled for Tuesday.

I Promise You Paradise

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

Co-written by Mostafa and Sawsan Youssef; the film revolves around Issa, a 17-year-old African immigrant in Egypt, who races against time after a violent accident, to save his loved ones at any cost.

The film is an Egyptian-French joint production between Bonanza Films, producer Sawsan Youssef, French producer Margot Laurier, Red Star, Sea Cinema, Shift Studios and Film Clinic.

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 figures, including Hala Khalil, Sherif El-Bendary, Mohamed Diab, and Ayten Amin in her 2020 Cannes-selected feature Souad.

CIFF and Cannes
“The selection of the first Egyptian film for this year's Cairo Festival is a source of great pride for us. It is the culmination of years of following the distinguished director Mourad Mostafa's journey, which was amazingly recently followed by the movie reaching the Critics' Week competition at the Cannes Festival,” stated the CIFF director Amir Ramses.

Ramses and CIFF President Hussein Fahmy are both currently in Cannes attending various activities of the prestigious festival where some are sponsored by and partnered with the CIFF.


The Cairo International Film Festival holds a distinguished status as one of the oldest and most prestigious film festivals in both the Arab world and Africa. It is a remarkable achievement for the festival to be the only one in the Arab and African region registered as a 'Category A' festival by the International Federation of Producers in Paris.

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