TO A LAND UNKNOWN

BY MAHDI FLEIFEL

Chatila and Reda are saving to pay for fake passports to get out of Athens. But when Reda loses their hard-earned cash to his dangerous drug addiction, Chatila hatches an extreme plan, which involves them posing as smugglers and taking hostages in an effort to get him and his best friend out of their hopeless environment before it is too late.

Cast:
Mahmood Bakri, Aram Sabbah, Mohammad Alsurafa, Αngeliki Papoulia

World premiere
56th Directors’ Fortnight – Cannes

International Press 
“Palestinian filmmaker’s narrative debut channels the spirit of Bicycle Thieves. Mahdi Fleifel delivers a confident, fully-realized drama featuring a lead performance from Mahmood Bakri which should attract international attention for both actor and director.”
-Catherine Bray, Variety

“This Palestinian Twist on ‘Midnight Cowboy’ Is Full of Masterful Storytelling and Wrenching Humanity. To A Land Unknown is a social realist drama buoyed by two gorgeous central performances, a nuanced portrait of a mercurial male relationship told with assurance and steel. This is a tour-de-force of empathic storytelling, with its genre narrative bursting with an overabundance of humanity. Grade: A-”
-Sophie Monks Kaufman, Indiewire  

“Two desperate Palestinian cousins are hopelessly stranded in Athens, Greece, in Mahdi Fleifel’s heartbreaking migrant drama. Arrestingly plotted and bracingly acted, this story about the biting hardships faced by refugees who have left the danger of their homeland only to be left nationless could hardly be more relevant. The only Palestinian feature premiering at Cannes, To A Land Unknown is crafted with painstaking care, and features two strong lead performances that are thoughtfully translated to the screen by an empathetic lens.
-Robert Daniels, Screen Daily  

Indiewire’s ‘The 15 Best Movies at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival

To A Land Unknown, feature film, dcp, UK-France-Germany-the Netherlands-Greece-Qatar-Saudi Arabia-Palestine, 2024, 105′

 

Director
Mahdi Fleifel

Writer
Mahdi Fleifel, Fyzal Boulifa, Jason McColgan

Director of photography
Thodoris Mihopoulos, GFC

Editor
Halim Sabbagh

Production designer
Ioanna Soulele

Costume designer
Konstantina Mardiki

Music
Nadah El Sazly

Sound
Steve Bond, Martin Hernandez, Montaser Abu Alul

Hair and make-up design
Vasiliki Yolanda Kita, Chronis Tzimos

Casting
Kleopatra Ampatzoglou, Luna Muallem

Executive producers
Francois De Villers, Frank Barat, Sawsan Asfari, Elisa Van Waeyenbergen, Jawad Botmeh, Asha Mansouri Elmasry, Hassan Elmasry, Mohannad Malas

Co-producers
Maria Drandaki, Layla Meijman,Maarten van der Ven, Francois Morisset

Producers
Geoff Arbourne, Mahdi Fleifel

Produced by
Inside Out Films (UK), Nakba FilmWorks (UK)

Co-produced by
Salaud Morisset (France), Homemade Films (Greece), Studio Ruba (the Netherlands), ZDF/ARTE & ZDF/DKF ERΤ S.A., Metafora ProductionThe Red Sea Fund

With the support of 
Greek Film Centre, NFF+HBF Co-Production SchemeAide Aux Cinémas du Monde – Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image AniméeInstitut FrançaisDoha Film Institute 

World Sales 
Salaud Morisset

Distribution
Eurozoom (France), Film Clinic (MENA)