EXCLUSIVE: Samuel Goldwyn Films has taken North American rights on Tarik Saleh’s Cairo Conspiracy, which formerly was known as Boy from Heaven. Sweden’s submission for the Best International Feature Oscar made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival, where Saleh won the Best Screenplay prize. Samuel Goldwyn is planning an early-2023 release.
The political thriller stars Tawfeek Barhom as Adam, the son of a fisherman who is offered the ultimate privilege to study at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the epicenter of power of Sunni Islam. Shortly after his arrival in the Egyptian capital, the university’s highest-ranking religious leader dies suddenly, and Adam soon becomes a pawn in a ruthless struggle between Egypt’s religious and political elite. The film also stars Fares Fares as secret serviceman Colonel Ibrahim; this is a reteam for Fares and Saleh after 2017 Sundance hit The Nile Hilton Incident.
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In his review, Deadline’s Damon Wise wrote, “Saleh’s film works on many more levels than sociopolitical, delivering a sophisticated adult thriller while at the same time exploring the intense psychological dynamic of the relationship between Adam and Ibrahim.”
Cairo Conspiracy recently screened at the BFI London Film Festival and had its North American premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival, with additional fall fests to be announced. The film began international theatrical rollout with an opening in France last week and scored the best launch for a subtitled foreign film since Parasite in June 2019 with 150,000 admissions and $1M in its first week.
“Tarik has reinvented the classic murder mystery,” says Peter Goldwyn of Samuel Goldwyn Films. “This blend of a familiar genre set in a new and exotic world is not only thrilling but also storytelling at the highest level. We are extremely honored to be able to bring this film to audiences in the U.S.”
The deal was negotiated by Mathieu Delaunay for Memento International on behalf of the filmmakers and Miles Fineburg Director, Acquisitions & Theatrical Sales for Samuel Goldwyn Films.
Cairo Conspiracy is produced by Atmo/Kristina Åberg and Fredrik Zander, in co-production with Memento Production, Bufo, Film i Väst, Sveriges Television, Mikael Ahlström Films, Haymaker, ARTE France Cinéma, Post Control and Final Cut For Real; in association with Memento International, Memento Distribution and Movies Inspired; with the participation of Canal+, Ciné+, ARTE France, YLE and DR; and with the support from Svenska Filminstitutet, Eurimages, Aide aux Cinémas du Monde, Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée – Institut Français, Region Île-de-France; in partnership with CNC Finnish Film Foundation, Business Finland – Audio Visual Production Incentive, The Danish Film Institute, Creative Europe Programme – MEDIA of the European Union and DR.
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