EXCLUSIVE: CAA has inked Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman, whose fifth film It Must Be Heaven won the Jury Special Mention and Fipresci Critics’ Award at last May’s Cannes Film Festival, and will make its North American premiere at TIFF on Sept. 12.
It Must Be Heaven, which is Palestine’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 92nd Academy Awards, is comprised of comic vignettes set in Paris, Nazareth, and New York. The pic investigates the meanings of being in exile, and the absurdities of nationalism, normality, and identity: A church in Nazareth with a door that won’t open. A deserted Paris. A New York supermarket with as many guns as fresh produce.
It Must Be Heaven is repped by CAA Media Finance and Wild Bunch for the U.S. rights.
Suleiman’s best-known work, Divine Intervention, won the Jury Prize and International Critics Prize at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival and won the Best Foreign Language Film Prize at the European Awards in Rome. His film, The Time That Remains, competed in the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and his feature debut, Chronicles of Disappearance, won the Best First Film Prize at the 1996 Venice Film Festival.
Additionally, Suleiman was tasked in 1994 with creating the Department of Film and Media at Birzeit University, which was funded by the European Commission. He is currently a professor at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fe, Switzerland and continues to guest lecture at various universities around the world.