Sheikh Jackson Poster – Press Material
CAIRO – 4 March 2018: Some people accused the Egyptian directors Amr Salama and Maysoon el-Masry of normalizing relations with Israel as their films will participate in the 2nd Haifa Independent Film Festival. The festival will take place between March 22 and 27 in Haifa, Israel.
Salama is participating with “Sheikh Jackson” and el-Massry is participating with her movie “Aida”. However, the controversy arose when some people accused the two of normalizing the Israeli state by travelling to the county and participating in the festival.
“The films will be sent via email, for the Israeli authorities to give authorization on emails also?” wondered the Egyptian journalist Rasha Hilwa on her official Facebook account. Hilwa explained that if we accused others with normalization based on such shallow evidence then this means that the great late artists Umm Kulthum, Abdel Halim Hafez, Sheikh Emam and Youssef Chahin were normalizing with Israel as their work reached Haifa, Bethlehem and other cities in Israel decades ago.
“It is really a shame to say such silly accusations, those who said that are the minority; our Arab nations are building strong cultural bridges everywhere whether in Aka or Alexandria,” Hilwa stated.
“Sheikh Jackson” stars Ahmed el-Fishawy and revolves around the death of ‘The King of Pop’, Michael Jackson. The plotline focuses on an aspiring imam who loves Jackson’s music and imitates the pop star’s performances. His strong relationship with Salafism reflects the contradictions in his life.
The film poster, depicts the protagonist, played by Fishawy, dressed as a Salafi sheikh and posing in a Jackson dance move and wearing Jackson’s signature hat. Salama stated previously that “the story of the movie is personal and deep, as I am narrating a very private story.”
The movie stars Ahmed el-Fishawy, Amina Khalil, Dorra and Ahmed Malek, among others. It was written and directed by Amr Salama. “Sheikh Jackson” was the opening movie for the first edition of El-Gouna Film Festival, which took place from September 22-29.
The film also screened in the 61st London Film Festival, which kicked off on October 4. Egypt selected Salama’s “Sheikh Jackson” as its candidate for consideration at the upcoming edition of the Oscars, set to take place in March 2018.
“Sheikh Jackson” screened for the first time in all Egyptian Cinemas on Wednesday, October 4. The film managed to achieve revenues amounting to LE 450,000 ($25,000) on its first day, and by the second day it had acquired LE 900,000; amassing LE 1,350,000 in its first two days of viewing.