Cleopatra Music and Film, with sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has two foreign-language imports lined-up for DVD release during the month of May.
Kicking off the month on May 1 is director Hugo Prata’s 2016 biopic, Elis, which follows the life and career of Brazil’s most famous recording star, Elis Regina (played by Andréia Horta).
Elis was an amazing singer — a true force of nature — who began her recording career at eleven, but it wasn’t until she collaborated with, and eventually married, César Camargo Mariano (played by Caco Ciocler), that she became a legend. Complicated, political and blessed with enormous talent, Prata’s Elis has it all … and the sadness too — she died at just 36 years of age.
Bonus feature include the featurette titled “The Making of Elis,” documentary footage of Elis and a slide show … Elis is presented in Portuguese with English subtitles.
Shifting to May 22 we have Egypt’s official submission for this past year’s Best Foreign Language Film from famed Egyptian filmmaker Amr Salama … the oddly titled Sheikh Jackson.
One has to wonder how this film ever got made in a Muslim country, much less chosen as the country’s official entry for Oscar consideration. Imam Khaled Hany (Ahmad El-Fishawi) is a by-the-book hardliner who is wound tight, perhaps too tight. Which makes it all the more remarkable when he receives the news that American pop icon, Michael Jackson, has died … you would think that would be something to rejoice (an evil influence of the West, etc., etc.), but for Khaled Hany it is the undoing of years of repressed feelings.
Soon the ghost of Michael Jackson is haunting — played brilliantly by Jackson impersonator Carlo Riley — our fire-breathing Imam, which is really a nuisance during one of his “kill the infidel” sermons.
Once the chaos in Khaled Hany’s life is established by the presence of the ghost of Michael Jackson, we get the backstory of a repressive father, a young love interest and his fondness of Michael Jackson as a recording icon.
Sheikh Jackson is a fun, off beat film that certainly adds to the legend of Amr Salama as a filmmaker with both wit and courage.
Bonus features include behind-the-scenes footage and a photo gallery. Sheikh Jackson is presented in Arabic with English subtitles.