Luxembourg, France, Israel, Belgium

Synopsis

Israel/ Palestine, today:Salam, a charming 30-year-old Palestinian living in Jerusalem, works as an intern on a popular Palestinian soap opera, “Tel Aviv on Fire,” which is produced in Ramallah. Every day, Salam must pass through an arduous Israeli checkpoint to reach the television studios. He meets the commander of the checkpoint, Assi, whose wife is a huge fan of the show. In order to impress her, Assi gets involved in the writing of the show.Salam soon realises that Assi’s ideas could get him a promotion as a screenwriter. Salam’s creative career catches fire, until Assi and the soap’s financial backers disagree on how the soap opera should end. Squeezed between an army officer and the Arab backers, Salam can only solve his problems with a final master stroke.

Director's Biography

Sameh Zoabi was born and raised in Iksal, a Palestinian village near Nazareh. He graduated from Tel Aviv University in Film Studies and English Literature, then received a Fullbright Fellowship to pursue an M.F.A. in Film Direction from the School of the Arts at Columbia University. He is also recipient of the prestigious residencies at the Cannes Festival Cinefoundation as well as the Sundance Screenwriters Lab. Sameh's unique voice was recognised by Filmmaker Magazine and he was named one of the "Top 25 New Faces of Independent Cinema". His work has been shown and has won awards at many international film festivals, including Cannes, Toronto, Locarno, Sundance, Karlovy Vary, New Directors/New Films and the New York.

Filmography:
as director

2018 - TEL AVIV ON FIRE
2013 - UNDER THE SAME SUN, tv
2012 - MAWSEM HISAD, doc., co-directed with Nassim Amaouch, Mais Darwazah and Erige Sehiri
2010 - MAN WITHOUT A CELL PHONE
2005 - BE QUIET, short

as writer
2015 - THE IDOL by Hany Abu-Assad
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Sameh Zoabi

Written by: Dan Kleinman, Sameh Zoabi

Produced by: Bernard Michaux, Miléna Poylo, Gilles Sacuto, Amir Harel, Patrick Quinet

Cinematography: Laurent Brunet

Editing: Catherine Schwartz

Production Design: Christina Schaffer

Costume Design: Magdalena Labuz

Hair & Make-up: Jasmine Schmit

Original Score: André Dziezuk

Sound: Alain Sironval

Main Cast: Kais Nashif (Salam), Lubna Azabal (Tala / Rachel), Nadim Sawalha (Bassam), Salim Daw (Atef), Laëtitia Eïdo (Maisa Shaheen/Spy), Amer Hlel (Nabil), Yaniv Biton (Assi ), Maisa Abd Elhadi (Mariam)

Visual Effects: Eric Nicolas Smit

Nominations and Awards

  • European Comedy 2019
  • EFA Feature Film Selection 2019