France’s Memento Film is co-producing, handling local distribution, with Memento Films International overseeing international sales.

After the multi-awarded The Nile Hilton Incident, Saleh’s second film exploring the modern Arabic world will be set in a prestigious Egyptian religious university. On the first day of school, the great Imam collapses, dead in front of the students. A merciless war of influence to find his successor gets under way.

"I want to open a Pandora's box and take the audience with me. Show a world itself set in a wider universe that no camera has filmed yet, “said the director, who claims that Boy from Heaven “is not a film properly speaking on Islam, but on ideology and the war of ideas, more political than religious.”

Kristina Åberg, Saleh’s long time production partner and joint-owner of Atmo with Saleh and Lars Rodvald, said Fares Fares will play a secret police officer.

Another major character – yet to be cast - will be an 18-year old boy from a fishing village, who enrols at the university.

Saleh will team up with his regular collaborators, cinematographer Pierre Aïm, editor Theis Schmidt, production designer Roger Rosenberg, and VFX specialist Peter Hjorth. All worked on The Nile Hilton Incident, as well as on Saleh’s upcoming English language debut Violence of Action starring Chris Pine and Ben Foster.

“We feel it’s essential to have long term relations with key cast & crew; it makes everything so much easier,” notes Åberg.

Boy From Heaven is co-produced by France’s Memento Film, Finland’s Bufo, Morocco’s Kasbah Film, with a Danish partner soon to join in. Co-financiers confirmed so far include Film i Väst. SVT, Canal+ France, Business Finland, and the Swedish Film Institute.

Memento Film Distribution that had successfully masterminded the French release of The Nile Hilton Incident in 2017 (launched under the title Cairo Confidentiel), will handle Boy from Heaven’s French release in 2021.

“Memento Film did a fabulous job locally on The Nile Hilton Incident that sold more than 400,000 tickets, making it the second biggest Swedish theatrical release in modern times in France, after The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” said Åberg, stressing that the film’s critical and commercial success in France “opened lots of doors to her and Saleh".

The Nile Hilton Incident which scooped the 2017 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-World Cinema Dramatic, as well as five Guldbagge Awards 2018 (including Best Film) also won the Grand Prize at France’s Beaune International Thriller Film Festival and was nominated for a French César-Best Foreign Language Film 2018.

Boy from Heaven will be released in Finland by Bufo’s distribution arm B-Plan. Distribution plans for the Swedish premiere are still open.

“We have kept the rights for ourselves,” told Åberg to “Distribution is changing fast and we don’t know who the major players will be in a year’s time, when the film will be ready. We want to be open to new and innovative ways to release our films,” she added.

Filming of Boy from Heaven between Morocco and Western Sweden is due to start in August 2020.