‘I Promise You Paradise’, Morad Mostafa’s refugee drama has made history at the Cannes Film Festival 2023.
The Egyptian short film I Promise You Paradise, directed by Morad Mostafa, has won the Best Fiction Short Film award along with a monetary prize of $6,000 at the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), which will run until August 27, 2023.
MIFF has announced the seven recipients of the 2023 MIFF Shorts Awards presented by Campari, which reward filmmakers with a prize pool worth $50,000.
The film (Egypt, France, Qatar/2023), featuring Kenyi Marcellino and Kenzi Mohamed, offers a poignant narrative centred around Eissa, a young African migrant without legal status in Egypt. The film chronicles his race against time to rescue his cherished ones.
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. I Promise You Paradise is distributed internationally by H264.
I Promise You Paradise is set to premiere in the MENA region at the 2023 Cairo International Film Festival.
In a statement, the jury said: “Morad Mostafa’s film introduces us to Eissa, a 17-year-old African migrant living in Egypt. We see his world through his point of view. I Promise You Paradise delivers such a powerful story that, after a brief glimpse, the viewer feels completely changed by what they have seen. Beautifully shot, the film is driven by an exceptional and restrained performance by its lead, Kenyi Marcellino – compelling you to never look away as the film traces his character’s impossible journey. Distinctly thought-provoking and heartbreaking, it is cinema that stays with you long after watching.”
Out of the 75 films featured in the programme, a distinguished jury consisting of filmmaker Alena Lodkina, curator and artist Kate ten Buuren, and Virginia Whitwell, Head of Production and Partner at Good Thing Productions, recognised and honoured seven films.