Egyptian film Sheikh Jackson, which centers around an Islamic cleric with a secret passion for Michael Jackson, will screen in movie theaters across eight Arab countries starting this weekend, Al Masry Al-Youm reported.
After its premiere at the Gouna Film Festival in September, the film will be releasedfin the UAE, Lebanon, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Syria and Iraq.
Directed by Amr Salama, the film was announced as Egypt’s candidate for consideration for the best foreign-language film Oscar.
“I’m thrilled and honored to be recognized,” Salama said in a statement at the time. “My aim was to be honest from the beginning and I wanted to cross borders with this film and subject. I believe we have done just that.”
If the film is selected by the Academy, it will be the first Egyptian production to make it to the final selection in the foreign films category.
Starring Ahmed al-Fishawy, Ahmed Malek, Maged al-Kedwany and Amina Khalil, the film is set around on the day of Michael Jackson’s death in 2009, and reveals the story of a sheikh who was nicknamed “Jackson” by his friends. The story goes on to expose emotions triggered by the pop star’s death, sparking a series of existential questions within the sheikh.
Salama, an award-winning filmmaker and writer has previously written and directed Zay Ennaharda (On a Day like Today, 2008), Asmaa (2011) and La Moakhza (Excuse My French, 2013).