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I Promise You Paradise

Director: Morad Mostafa

Egypt, 2023, 26 min

Shooting Format:Digital 4K

Festival Year:2024

Category:Narrative Short

Crew:Writers: Morad Mostafa, Sawsan Yusuf. Producer: Sawsan Yusuf.


Following a violent incident; Eissa a 17 years old African migrant in Egypt is in a quest against time to save his loved ones whatever it takes.


About the director

Morad; an Egyptian Filmmaker, born in Cairo; 1988. He worked in several independent films; and collaborated as an Executive Director in "SOUAD" and it was in the official selection in "Cannes Film Festival" 2020, Morad is an alumni of the "Berlinale Talents Campus" in Durban and "Locarno Academy". He wrote and directed three short films all of them were selected in "Clermont-Ferrand" in three consecutive years and were screened in more than 300 festivals worldwide and won several awards. His latest short film "I PROMISE YOU PARADISE" is selected in "Semaine de la Critique" of "Festival de Cannes" 2023. Morad is currently developing his debut feature film "Aisha can't fly away anymore" in "Cinéfondation" the residency of Festival de Cannes and also in Torino Film Lab and Rotterdam Lab IFFR.


Filmmaker's note

I started thinking about the film when I saw a real moment in bustling streets of Cairo that I couldn't forget of an African teenager boy and Egyptian young girl riding a motorbike with a baby and they are clinging to each other and their worried features appear as they are escaping from one place to another; so it's like a relationship the society rejected it, for me the cinema was never about the plot only, but also about attractive characters and touching moments, these are the things that I always remember after I watch a film.

The place in which I'm telling my story is where I spent my childhood and teenage years; the local neighborhood of “Ain Shams” where many migrated from the countries of the horn of Africa escaping war, political deterioration and starvation, they came seeking work, freedom and peace and settled in Ain shams and turned it into a colony for African migrants in the heart of Cairo, and this neighborhood became a society inside the Egyptian society which is also a suffering society, the outcome was unfulfilling because they didn't find a place for the freedom and peace; they had bigger goals of fleeing all this poverty and unclear future and Egypt turned into a stop before fleeing to Europe.

Eissa represents the rising generation of Africans who live in Egypt on the Edge of society without a home, without a clear future; he has no voice, He is like a blind spot of society, but not present. He only demands the basic needs of being free, safe with his loved ones and to find the love he wants, even if with a girl who is not from his nationality or religion, this is a complete right for him, but our society is fighting those relationships. for that he had to go to the land of salvation accompanying those who he loves, but despite his resistance, he is faced with loss and separation and he decided to keep them in his heart and to give them a chance to escape and actually this is better than staying inside this hard place; he is a simple young man who believes in humanity but understands well that this is a world in which you can only achieve your goals through these difficult paths; the film is about the normal ones who can be heroes in the eyes of others through one simple human act but it is all they can do; when I look at the people around me I think this is all what matters.

In my previous film HENET WARD; I followed the story of a Sudanese migrant; and as a mother she chose to surrender to the community and its pressures to provide her family; but in this film I follow Eissa a teenager boy that although he is sharing the same concern; he chose to rebel against the circumstances and goes through a challenging journey. The story takes a different course to become a story of sacrifice to fulfill his promise to liberate his loved ones.

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