Amjad Al Rasheed's debut feature made history earlier this year when it became the first Jordanian feature film to premiere in Cannes.
The Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Performance stands as a testament to the acting skills showcased in Inshallah a Boy, as the film’s thought-provoking narrative, combined with the performances, deeply resonated with both audiences and critics alike.
Inshallah a Boy weaves a tale of Nawal, a recently widowed woman, faced with the daunting task of preserving her daughter and her home in a society where having a son holds the key to societal change.
Al-Rasheed’s debut feature film has been highly praised at the international film festival circuit, amassing a total of seven international accolades, including the Gan Foundation Award and the Rail D’Or Award for Best Feature Film, both bestowed upon the film at the Cannes Film Festival.
Moreover, the Royal Film Commission of Jordan has selected Inshallah a Boy to represent the nation in the race for the 2024 Academy Award for Best International Feature Film, marking a significant turning point in Jordan’s cinematic history and reaffirming the film’s profound cultural significance.
This film has not only captivated audiences in the Asia-Pacific region but has also graced the screens of renowned film festivals worldwide, from Karlovy Vary and Melbourne to BFI London, Sydney, Toronto, Hamburg, New Zealand, and World Cinema Amsterdam.
The journey of Inshallah a Boy began as a visionary project, participating in several international workshops, including the 79th Venice International Film Festival’s Final Cut, where it garnered the La Biennale di Venezia Prize and a cash award. The film also received financial support from Jordan’s Royal Film Commission in two cycles, a post-production grant from the Red Sea Lodge, production backing from the Doha Film Institute, a post-production Award from CNC, a monetary prize from the Arab Radio and Television Network at the fifth Cairo Film Connection, and a post-production award from the Atlas Workshop.
Directed by Al-Rasheed and co-written alongside Delphine Agut and Rula Nasser, the film boasts an ensemble cast that includes Mouna Hawa, Haitham Omari, Salwa Nakkara, Yumna Marwan, Mohammad Al-Jizawi, Islam Al-Awadi, and Celina Rabab’a.
The film’s production was led by Nasser and Abu Ayyash, with co-production from Youssef Abdelnabi, Raphaël Alexandre, and Nicolas Leprêtre. Associate producers include Alaa Karkouti, Maher Diab, and Shahinaz El-Akkad. The lensing of the film was executed by Kanamé Onoyama, while editing was handled by the prolific Ahmed Hafez. Nour Halawani was responsible for sound mixing, and the score was composed by Jerry Lane. Zeina Soufan and Nasser Zoubi served as the project’s costume and production designers, respectively.
In terms of production companies, Inshallah a Boy was produced by Imaginarium Films and co-produced by Georges Films and Bayt Al-Shawareb. For distribution within the Arab world, MAD Solutions and Lagoonie Film Production have taken the helm, while Pyramide International is managing international sales and distribution in France.