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TFS’s Mercedes Cardella Wraps Production on ‘Jude & The Jinn’ Feature Film

Mercedes Cardella

Mercedes Cardella’s Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch-winning project recently wrapped production both here in Toronto and in Cairo, Egypt.

The shoot was so amazing! Having shot in Cairo and in Toronto is an experience that I will cherish forever. The set was truly magnetic,” said Cardella, Toronto Film School’s Associate Director of Curriculum Design, who both acted in and produced the film under her Magic Carpet Productions banner.

“I worked with a fantastic and dedicated team who really poured so much love into the project. I couldn’t be more happier. Post-production is another exciting journey that I am happy to be embarking on.”

Jude and the Jinn

Written and directed by Rolla Tahir and starring Alexander Siddig (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and newcomer Azza Abbaro, Jude & The Jinn was one of 16 feature projects from emerging filmmakers selected for the 2022-2023 Talent to Watch program. As such, the film received $250,000 in Telefilm funding, as well as additional support from the multi-national New Dawn fund.

Jude & the Jinn, which marked Tahir’s feature directing debut, is what Cardella describes as a “magical realism feature film.”

“It follows a 30-something Muslim woman of Nubian descent by the name of Jude, who spirals into a pit of depression after her father is deported,” she said of the film last year, when its Telefilm funding was first announced.

“Jude is guided out of her depression when she becomes friends with this mystical, symbolic figure known as a Jinn – and the Jinn really helps her cultivate her own sense of belonging through community.”

Now that shooting on the film has wrapped, the project will now head into post-production.

Cardella said she hopes the finished project will be ready by Winter 20205, after which she, Tahir and their fellow producers Ladan M Siad (Fugee Films) and Rua Wani (Juice and Walnuts Films) hope to get it out on the festival circuit.

Cynthia Reason

Cynthia Reason (she/her) is a former newspaper journalist turned communications professional who currently works as Toronto Film School’s Manager of Communications. Prior to joining TFS, she spent 13 years working as a reporter for Torstar/Metroland Media Toronto, writing for publications including Toronto.com, the Etobicoke Guardian, and the Toronto Star, among others. Her byline has also appeared in the National Post. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph and Post-Graduate Diploma in Journalism from Humber College.


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