Egyptian film director Tarek Saleh wins Cannes best screenplay award

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Tarik Saleh, a Swedish artist of Egyptian origin, won the Screenplay Prize at the Cannes Film Festival last week for his politico-religious thriller, Boy from Heaven.

Graffiti artist, journalist, producer, writer and filmmaker, he did not hide his joy in front of the euronews camera after receiving his Palme...

Somewhere between The Name of the Rose and John the Square, but at Al-Ahzar University in Cairo, one of the hearts of Sunni Islam, a young imam gets caught up in a dirty deal with the police, hiding religious and political manipulations. 

On the first day back after the summer holidays, the grand imam collapses and dies in front of his students in the prestigious university. This marks the start of a ruthless battle for influence to take his place.

The film was shot in Istanbul, due to a lack of authorisation, and produced by Scandinavia, France and Morocco.

But for Tarik Saleh, it is not the nationality of a film or a director that counts.

"I would put among my three favorite films Battle of Algiers you know, and for that film it doesn't matter the nationality of that director because it tells the truth and I think that is sort of the main thing. We, as storytellers, are telling an emotional truth, and we have to tell a truth that survives time. And that's a big difference between news for example or politics because as we know news today or politics today, tomorrow it's a joke." Tarik Saleh, film director.

Boz from Heaven presents an immersive and thrilling dive into the Sunni religious universe, crossed by multiple currents, from fundamentalism to peaceful humanism. A fascinating point of view, especially for Europeans, unfamiliar and often ignorant of this world.

"It is universal and in this case, for Europeans, to step into the sandals of a muslim that you are afraid of, and walk around, pray, look, hope, be afraid, and fight for survival, you know I think it is good, because we need to share experience, that what we have to do." Saleh says.

The film director dedicated his award to young filmmakers in Egypt hoping they raise their voices and tell their stories.” Intelligent entertainment is what Saleh proposes with his superbly written, filmed and performed Boy from Heaven.

The film will be released in European countries in the autumn.

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