Winning Rail d'Or Award at Cannes is 'door opening opportunity': Egyptian director Morad Mostafa

Eslam Omar , Friday 26 May 2023

Acclaimed Egyptian director Morad Mostafa thanked co-workers and companions on his artistic journey after winning the 27th Rail d'Or Award for best short film at the Cannes Film Festivals’ Critics Week for Eissa (I Promise You Paradise).

Morad Mostafa
Egyptian director Morad Mostafa has posted this photo on Thursday celebrating his winning in Cannes, France


“This is a door opening opportunity. I am grateful to the 11 years I worked as an assistant director and to the crews, directors and other assistants I worked with and to the whole industry I have been a part of,” Mostafa posted on social media on Thursday. 

“It has been a long journey from my first short film four years ago until I got to this point,” the 35-year-old director added.

Mostafa received congratulations from dozens of famous filmmakers and critics as well as cinematic entities on the win.

The Rail d'Or Award was based on the vote of a special jury consisting of one hundred members and film critics.

Issa premiered in the 64th edition of Cannes (16-27 May) on Tuesday as a competitor in its 62nd Semaine de la Critique, which took place 17-25 May.

The film will have its MENA premiere at the 45th edition of the Cairo International film Festival, which will take place 15-24 November at the Cairo Opera House.

I Promise You Paradise

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.

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

Tours and more

Morad Mostafa 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.

These films competed in over 100 festivals across the globe, earning Mostafa dozens of awards as well as qualifications for an Oscar and BAFTA 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.

Arab cinema is making a notable impact at the current edition of the prestigious French festival, with a number of films gaining wide attention, including Jordanian Inshallah Walad, Sudanese Goodbye Julia and Tunisian Four Daughters.

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