Moroccan slum kids film up for top prize at Cannes

“This is a first in the history of Moroccan cinema for a movie to compete at the official selection of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival,” said the Moroccan Centre for Cinematography
Saturday 12/06/2021
A scene of the film “Casablanca Beats” (Haut et Fort) by Moroccan Nabil Ayouch. (Facebook)
A scene of the film “Casablanca Beats” (Haut et Fort) by Moroccan Nabil Ayouch. (Facebook)

RABAT--For the first time ever, a Moroccan film has been short-listed for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

The movie “Casablanca Beats” (Haut et Fort) by Moroccan Nabil Ayouch is one of 23 finalists at the 74th glittering cinematic jamboree of the French Riviera.

The film follows a group of youngsters living in the Casablanca slum district of Sidi Moumen as they join a workshop encouraging them to express themselves through hip-hop music and dance.

“This is a first in the history of Moroccan cinema for a movie to compete at the official selection of the prestigious Cannes Film Festival,” said the Moroccan Centre for Cinematography (CCM) adding it showed the international reputation of Moroccan film-makers.

A file picture of Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch in Marrakech. (AFP)
A file picture of Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch in Marrakech. (AFP)

In the past Moroccan movies been featured in different categories at Cannes, including “La Semaine de la critique”, “Un certain regard” or “La quinzaine des réalisateurs”.

“Casablanca Beats, produced by “Ali n’ Productions” in 2020, benefited from the ministry of culture’s support fund for the production of cinematographic works.

In addition to the Moroccan movie, 22 other films are in the line-up of the official selection at the Cannes festival which runs from July 6 to 17.