release date April 17 2023
Amjad Al-Rasheed's INSHALLAH A BOY to world premiere at Cannes' Critics' Week
The film is set to be the first-ever Jordanian flick at the powerhouse French festival
INSHALLAH A BOY, Amjad Al-Rasheed's debut feature will be kicking off its world tour at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, which will be running from May 16th to the 27th. More specifically, the film will be featured in the festival's Critics' Week and is set to be the first-ever Jordanian flick to be selected for the powerhouse French festival.
INSHALLAH A BOY — which tackles a thorny issue in the MENA region — follows the story of Nawal, who has to fight to save her daughter and home after the death of her husband in Jordan where having a son is the difference between privilege and discrimination in the country's conservative society.
The film kicked off its journey as a project, joining several international workshops, including the 79th Venice International Film Festival's Final Cut, where it nabbed a La Biennale di Venezia Prize and a cash award. Moreover, it received two cash awards from El Gouna Film Festival and the Festival International de Films de Fribourg and funding from Oticons.
INSHALLAH A BOY also received production and post-production support from Jordan's Royal Film Commission in two cycles, a monetary prize from the Arab Radio and Television Network at the fifth Cairo Film Connection, and production support from the Doha Film Institute.
Breaking down his motivations behind making the film, Al-Rasheed said: "Survival, empowerment, and hope; INSHALLAH A BOY is a film about living under the constraints of an oppressive patriarchal society. This film holds a profound personal and emotional significance to me. My dedication to telling this story was to create something that is both authentic and realistic, to resonate with audiences and provoke them to think."
He added that his intention was to "shed light on the suppression inflicted by our patriarchal society by portraying a narrative of endurance, empowerment, and optimism."
"This project holds a profound emotional and personal significance for me. To accomplish my objective of stimulating contemplation and encouraging the audience to question, I committed myself to maintaining an authentic and realistic tone and vibe throughout the filmmaking process."
Directed by Amjad Al-Rasheed and co-written alongside Delphine Augte and Rula Nasser, the film stars Muna Hawa, Haitham Omari, Salwa Nakkara, Yumna Marwan, Mohammad Al-Jizawi, Eslam Al-Awadi, and Celina Rabab'a
Additionally, the film was produced by Rula Nasser and Aseel Abu Ayyash; co-produced by Youssef Abdelnabi, Raphaël Alexandre, and Nicolas Leprêtre; associate produced by Alaa Karkouti, Maher Diab, and Shahinaz El-Akkad; lensed by Kanamé Onoyama, edited by the prolific Ahmed Hafez, who edited two episodes of Marvel's sensational hit Disney+ series MOON KNIGHT; sound mixed by Nour Halawani; and scored by Jerry Lane. Also, Zeina Soufan and Nasser Zoubi served as the project's costume and production designers respectively.
Commenting on why she wrote and backed the film, Nasser said: "Women's rights have always been the source of confusion and debate in this region. As women's rights movements flourished in the West, they almost seemed completely disconnected from their counterparts in our more conservative side of the world."
"INSHALLAH A BOY is not about the laws that oppress women's rights in the Arab world, but rather the societal beliefs and culture that exert control over women's lives in their communities. It is the idea that for any progress to be made in women's rights, society itself must develop before government institutions do; this is the message the film is trying to hammer home."
Regarding the larger production companies at play, the film was produced by Imaginarium Films, Georges Films, and Bayt Al-Shawareb Meanwhile, MAD Solutions and Lagoonie Film Production are in charge of distributing it all over the Arab world and Pyramide International are handling international sales and distribution in France.
When asked about what drew them to acquiring and distributing INSHALLAH A BOY, Founders of MAD Solutions Alaa Karkouti and Maher Diab had this to say: "When we saw the vision behind this film and the sheer amount of talent present in its crew, it was simply a no-brainer for us to get involved and help bring it to the light. With MAD Solutions' core vision of presenting the untold stories of this side of the world in mind, we found INSHALLAH A BOY to be too crucial of a narrative to pass up," 
"This is a story of an all too common tragedy that happens in Middle Eastern societies. Like all issues on a global scale, the first step towards a resolution is usually acknowledging the existence of a problem, which we believe Al-Rasheed and Nasser have accomplished beautifully here. We look forward to the discourse that will naturally spring forth after this film's release."
Adding to Karkouti and Diab's statements, Founder of Lagoonie Film Production Shahinaz El-Akkad said that the path to any societal change — especially when it comes to women's rights — is usually a long and storied one. However, sometimes it falls to films like this to lead the charge toward change.
"These archaic inheritance laws have been the source of much tragedy and discontent in Middle Eastern societies. And this isn't something that happens once in a blue moon; it's a recurring narrative that more often than not ends with women being forced out of their homes or out of inheritances that they logically have a right to. What I hope INSHALLAH A BOY will do is contribute to lighting the spark that will hopefully lead to serious widespread discussions regarding updating or amending these laws so that they're fairer and perhaps kinder to the disenfranchised," El-Akkad stressed.
Finally, in a statement, Eric Lagesse of Pyramide International emphasized that "Pyramide is exceptionally proud to be the French distributor and international sales agent of INSHALLAH A BOYAl-Rasheed's debut film and the very first Jordanian movie ever to be shown on the Croisette." 
"We are also glad to be working with the producers Rula Nasser and Nicolas Leprêtre and to carry on our collaboration with the great team of MAD Solutions whom we share a common love for Arabic movies with."
This film marks Amjad's second collaboration with MAD, as the distribution giant handled marketing for his short film THE PARROT, which he co-directed with Darin J. Sallam and received several international awards, including the Jury Award for Best Short Film at the Mizna's Twin Cities Arab Film Festival in the US and the Malmö Arab Film Festival. The film also held its world premiere at the 2016 Dubai International Film Festival and is now on OSN.
A Jordanian director and writer born in 1985, Amjad Al-Rasheed holds an MFA in cinematic arts with a focus on directing and editing.
In 2016, Amjad Al-Rasheed was selected by "Screen International" as one of five "Arab Stars of Tomorrow" highlighting the up-and-coming young talents of the region. He attended the Talent Campus during the 57th Berlinale, after which he directed short films that garnered nominations and won prizes at various Arab and international film festivals.