Sundance Winner ‘Nile Hilton Incident’ Picked Up by Strand Releasing for U.S. (EXCLUSIVE)

Strand Releasing has acquired all North American rights to Tarik Saleh’s political thriller “The Nile Hilton Incident,” which won the grand jury prize for a dramatic film in the world cinema section at Sundance.

Strand made the deal with The Match Factory at the movie’s launch at the Seattle International Film Festival. The distributor plans a fall release.

“The Nile Hilton Incident” takes place weeks before the 2011 Egyptian revolution, with a Cairo police office (played by Fares Fares), investigating the murder of a famous club singer at the Nile Hilton Hotel. What initially seems to be a crime of passion turns into something that involves the power elite of Egypt, so the officer decides to break the rules in order to obtain justice.

Variety’s Nick Shager gave the film a strong review, writing: “Swedish writer-director Tarik Saleh’s crime drama about a cop investigating the murder of a beautiful singer is a paranoid portrait of individual and systemic corruption that leaves none of its characters unscarred.”

Saleh said Thursday, “I am honored that Strand will bring our film to an American audience. After a fantastic start at Sundance, I felt how strongly our story resonated with what is going on right now in the United States. I have a secret dream that Sidney Lumet’s spirit will see the film far in the back of a screening in New York, and that he smiles at my attempt to pay tribute to him.”

The film was written and directed by Saleh, and produced by Kristina Aberg, who said, “We are excited that Strand, with its reputation of quality films, will release ‘The Nile Hilton Incident’ to an American audience. Strangely enough, I regard the U.S. right now as a nation where this film is of utmost relevance.”

The deal was negotiated between Jon Gerrans of Strand Releasing and Michael Weber of The Match Factory. The film has also been sold to France, where Memento Films Distribution will release it in July, and Benelux, with Cherry Pickers releasing it in August.

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