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Michael Jackson-Themed Egyptian Movie ‘Sheikh Jackson’ Picked Up by Media Luna (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 5/22/2017 Leo Barraclough
© Provided by Variety

Media Luna has acquired the rights to Egyptian movie “Sheikh Jackson,” which centers on an Islamic cleric who revisits his teenage obsession with Michael Jackson.

The film, directed by Amr Salama, is set in 2009 when news of the singer’s death causes the cleric to undergo an identity crisis.

“We are proud to lead this young talented director to cross borders with such a delicate story, told with such an original tone and visionary in its way,” Ida Martins, CEO of Media Luna, said. “[The film] has the potential to touch the hearts of people no matter where they’re from as at the end of the day it is about being brave and learning how get to know and take care of oneself.”

The director said it is “a truly personal film” and “I don’t see myself doing another film where I can be that exposed and vulnerable telling a deeply personal story, a story that can be a wake-up call and an insightful look into the lives of the ‘other.’”

Ahmed El Feshawy plays the lead role, while rising young star Ahmed Malek plays the cleric as a teenager. Veteran actor Maged El-Kedwany stars as the cleric’s authoritarian father.

The film is produced by Mohamed Hefzy of Film Clinic, the Egyptian production powerhouse, which is behind films such as Un Certain Regard 2016 opener “Clash” by Mohamed Diab and “Ali, the Goat and Ibrahim” by Sherif el Bindary, as well as Hani Ossama of The Producers, the company behind the local hits “Excuse My French” and “Hepta.”

“We are very happy to be working with Media Luna. Their reputation and track record are excellent, but it’s their passion and belief in the film that made us instantly convinced that they were the best partner for the film. We look forward to a long and successful working relationship,” Hefzy said.

The deal was negotiated by Daniel Ziskind, the manager of Film Clinic in Europe.

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