The Nile Hilton Incident

Cairo 2011. The boiling point. 30 million residents are waiting… Waiting for something to happen. 

Noredin (Fares Fares) is the everyday corrupt police detective who makes his buck accepting bribes from street vendors and landlords. By routine, he extorts money from the local criminals. Under the influence of drugs and alcohol, he can still function in a system that is on the brink of collapse.  One night he is assigned a murder investigation. A singer is found dead at the Nile Hilton. What initially seems to be a “crime of passion” turns into something that concerns the very power elite of Egypt.

I knew that when I wrote “The Nile Hilton Incident” I was asking for trouble. It’s a little bit like dating a serial killer. But I could have never, in my wildest imagination have known how crazy this production would turn out. I am very glad that no one died. The fiction of “The Nile Hilton Incident” was constantly crashing into reality. At times it scared me, but to be honest, this is why I do this - to make my dreams come true. To me the film is about a city that I love. It’s about the past and the future colliding - and the people that get’s crushed in the process.



2017 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize: World Cinema Dramatic
Beaune International Thriller Film Festival Grand Prix
SEMINCI Golden Spike for best film
SEMINCI Ribera de Duero for best director
SEMINCI Miguel Delibes Award for best script
Festival du film Politique Prix des Médias
Etoiles et Toiles du Cinéma européen Europe Prize for Human Rights
LE PARISIEN Best foreign film
MILANO NOIR FESTIVAL Best Actor, Fares Fares
Guldbagge Award Best film
Guldbagge Award Best male actor, Fares Fares
Guldbagge Award Best set design, Roger Rosenberg
Guldbagge Award Best sound design, Fredrik Jonsäter
Guldbagge Award Best costume, Louize Nissen
Le masque et la plume Best foreign film
CÉSAR 2018 Nominated for Best foreign film
Gabes International Film Festival El Seed d’or


international review EXCERPTS

The spectator goes through all the emotions, carried away like the heroes by the violent wind of the history: do not miss this immense film!

Le Parisien

An effective and fascinating thriller. Tarik Saleh denounces a society tainted by corruption at all levels. Our advice: Should not be missed.

Le Monde

Beautiful film, dark, precise, burning, mixing suspense and politics.

Le Figaro

Twice in a row the first film I’ve seen at Sundance is so brilliant, so accomplished that I start Sundance on a mountain high — and it’s not the thin air.

Filmmaker Magazine

"The French Connection, Heat and Jean-Pierre Melville are all there in the mix"

Screen Daily

[The film] …like Andrej Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan, charts one man’s deluded attempt to do the right thing in a world where money and power are the only moral arbiters.

Screen Daily

Like the finest noir, what springs forth from Saleh’s film is the dreary belief that the bad sleep well while the rest are left to suffer in the streets.


Pierre Aim’s prowling camera unpeels the city’s layers of physical and moral decay in muted, contrasting tones that intermittently highlight sudden, bloody bursts of violence...

Hollywood Reporter

The Nile Hilton Incident represents the type of penetrating filmmaking that only a writer-director intimately familiar with Egyptian culture but possessing an outsider’s perspective could convincingly accomplish.

Hollywood Reporter

The extraordinary cast, Arab and Sudanese, inhabit their roles like a second skin; you constantly remind yourself they’re acting. Not a false or contrived note in 106 minutes.

Filmmaker Magazine

The Nile Hilton Incident darkly unfolds like the very best of Graham Greene — did I mention Carol Reed’s The Third Man is my all-time favorite film? — but goes Greene one better.

Filmmaker Magazine

Masterfully shot by Pierre Aïm, the thriller benefits immensely from a harrowing rhythm established by Theis Schmidt’s angry editing ...Obviously [it is] well on its way to becoming a festival, critic and audience darling.


You can feel the Middle Eastern country’s impending wave of frustration, corruption, and paranoia simmering underneath every scene in the film like white noise in the background.

Entertainment Weekly

Fares Fares, [...] is the right physical/philosophical specimen for this yarn, unfurling a magnetic portrayal of commonplace corruption as a kind of walking, wasting blues.

Los Angeles Times

Die Nile Hilton Affäre ist so spannend wie intelligent, so eingängig (und fast massenkompatibel) wie hintersinnig.


Ein herausragender Thriller aus dem Kairo des Arabischen Frühlings.

Der Spiegel

Der großartige Fares Fares glänzt in diesem dichten Krimi-Drama vor politisch brisantem Hintergrund. Ein echtes Thriller-Juwel.

[The film] manages the feat of remaining a moody and atmospheric private eye-style mystery while offering more insight into the final days of Mubarak’s presidency than any didactic, self-righteous documentary could ever manage.

El modo en que Tarik Saleh saca oro al relacionar un código tradicional con una realidad viva y tangible es modélico.

El Pais

Fares is a compelling screen presence, while Saleh’s attention to details of life in a country on the brink of change give things a sense of grimy perspicuity.

The Guardian

Swedish-Egyptian director Tarik Saleh uses his setting brilliantly.

The Sunday Express

scandinavian Review excerpts

Det gør 'Cairo Confidential' til en af de mest spændende krimier og mordgåder, der længe har martret de danske biografer.

Fares Fares brillerer i sin portrættering af en korrupt og følsom strømer

Fares Fares lyser i mäktigt filmbygge, The Nile Hilton Incident är ytterst välgjord spänning.


Både Fares Fares och Kairo briljerar i Tarik Salehs neo-noir om en korrumperad och desillusionerad polis som möter arabiska våren.

Dagens Nyheter

Bästa svenska snutfilmen på mycket länge.

Sveriges Radio Kulturnytt

Fares Fares briljant i lågintensiv nynoir-thriller.


The Nile Hilton incident är både en stilsäker och spänningsfylld thriller, och inte minst en sorgesång över ett land där rättvisan tackat för sig.


”The Nile Hilton Incident” är något så pass ovanligt som en svenskregisserad internationell thriller av högsta klass, traditionell men ytterst kompetent noir och initierad samhällsskildring i samma lyxförpackning.


The Nile Hilton Incident ska visas världen över. I Frankrike har den redan setts av 370 000 biobesökare. Och jag förstår varför.




Festival contact
The Swedish Film Institute

World sales
Match Factory

Swedish distributor

Kristina Åberg
+46 (0)70 768 31 33

إللي حصل في الهيلتون The Nile Hilton Incident. DIRECTOR Tarik Saleh. PRODUCER. Kristina Åberg. CO-PRODUCERS Marcel Lenz, Ostlicht film production, Monica Hellström, Final Cut for Real, Film i Väst, Nordsvensk Filmunderhållning, Sveriges Television, Chimney, Scanbox. WITH SUPPORT FROM The Swedish Film Institute, Eurimages, Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Danish Film Institute, Copenhagen Film fond, West Danish Film Fund. CAST Fares Fares, Mari Malek, Yaser Ali Maher, Ahmed Selim, Slimane Dazi, Hichem Yacobi, Hania Amar, Mohamed Yousry, Sanaa Shafea'a, Ahmed Khairy, Ahmed Abd Al Hamid Hefny, Nael Ali, Ger Duany. DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Pierre Aim. PRODUCTION DESIGNER Roger Rosenberg, COMPOSER Krister Linder. SOUND DESIGN Fredrik Jonsäter. EDITOR Theis Schmidt. CASTING DIRECTORS Fabien Boitiere, Marwa Gabriel. SCRIPT CONSULTANT Magdi Abdelhadi. COSTUME DESIGNER Louize Nissen. EFFECTS SUPERVISOR Peter Hjort. LINE PRODUCER Alex Corven. CO PRODUCERS Marcel Lenz, Guido Schwab, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen, Per Bouveng, Fredrik Zander, Karim Debbagh,