Back in Cannes earlier this year, one of the standout titles was Tarik Saleh's Boy from Heaven. The film premiered in the Official Competition on the Croisette, where it won the Screenwriting Prize for Saleh’s combination of thrilling tension and complex intrigue set amidst Egypt's religious and political elite.
Today, Samuel Goldwyn Films announced their acquisition of the North American rights for the film, written and directed by Tarik Saleh, the filmmaker behind previous works The Contractor and Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winner, The Nile Hilton Incident. The title was recently changed from Boy From Heaven to Cairo Conspiracy, to align with other international releases, and Samuel Goldwyn Films plans to release the film in early 2023.
Recently, Boy from Heaven also screened at the BFI London Film Festival, and had its North American premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival, with additional fall festivals to be announced.
“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 US.”
In the film actor Tawfeek Barhom stars 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 Cairo, the university’s highest ranking religious leader, the Grand Imam, suddenly dies and Adam soon becomes a pawn in a ruthless power struggle between Egypt's religious and political elite. The film also stars Fares Fares, who has worked with Saleh before on The Nile Hilton Incident, as well as appearing in Chernobyl, Westworld and The Wheel of Time.
The film began its international theatrical roll out with an opening in France last week -- where it was renamed La conspiration du Caire, thus starting this new name trend for the title -- and there it saw the best start for a subtitled foreign film since Parasite in June 2019, with 150,000 admissions and 1 Million USD in box office in its first week.
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, 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.
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.