HEAVEN WILL WAIT / Le Ciel peut attendre


West Coast Premiere • Drama • France, 2016

DCP • 2.35 • Dolby 5.1 • Color • 100 min

Directed by: Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar

Written by: Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar, Emilie Frèche

Cinematography: Myriam Vinocour

Film Editing: Benoît Quinon

Produced by: Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar (Willow Films), UGC Images, France 2 Cinéma

Cast: Noémie Merlant  (Sonia Bouzaria) Naomi Amarger (Mélanie Thenot), Sandrine Bonnaire (Catherine Bouzaria), Clotilde Courau (Sylvie), Zinedine Soualem  (Samir Bouzaria)

International Sales: Gaumont


With so many terrorist attacks in France over the last decade, radicalization has become the hot-button issue. Heaven Will Wait takes the topic head on with two disturbing stories about teenage girls heeding the siren call of ISIS. Sonia is just 17 when she is arrested for involvement in a planned jihadist attack. Angry at being prevented from joining her confederates in Syria, Sonia is placed under house arrest. A deprogrammer is called in to reintegrate her, but her shocked and devastated family fears she is lost forever. Then there’s Melanie, the studious, aspiring cellist, picture-perfect daughter. Her single-parent mother has no idea that she has fallen for her “prince”, an online ISIS recruiter posing as a trusted advisor and promised husband. A timely drama mixed with documentary-like sequences of deprogramming conducted by real-life indoctrination expert Dounia Bouzar, who heads an organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of radical Islamic recruitment in France.


On the heels of her successful Once In a Lifetime (COLCOA 2015 Audience and Critics Special Prizes) about a class of suburban students reflecting on the horrors of the Holocaust, writer/director Marie-Castille Mention-Schaar once again shows her gift for decoding the doubts and contradictions that come with being a teenager. Before moving to directing, Mention-Schaar found success as a producer, notably with Wah-Wah (2005) starring Gabrielle Byrne and Emily Watson, and Twice Upon a Time (COLCOA 2007) with Charlotte Rampling and Jean Rochefort . In 2012, her drama Ma première fois was nominated for a Best First Film César Award. That same year she directed the comedy, Bowling. From there, Mention-Schaar went looking for a more authentic approach that included documentary elements, and the use of non-actors to bring greater credibility to her storytelling.