With three feature films to his credit, shot in Mongolia, Iceland and Japan, director Ayoub Qanir continues his quest with an atypical shoot that partly recounts the geopolitical links and conflicts between Russia and Chechnya at the start of the 21st century. , through the portrait of “Daria”, a woman with a strong character.
American writer, director and producer of Moroccan origin, Ayoub Qanir has several strings to his bow. Decorated by His Majesty King Mohammed VI, this filmmaker without borders is an explorer who evolves far from the beaten track.
Wishing to be immersed in different worlds, he enriches his career with often unexpected experiences, and thus breaks down the boundaries of difference and prejudice.
Anyone for whom the cinema is a means of strengthening acceptance and empathy towards others was touched by the story of Daria, a strong and mysterious woman. “The story of the film was proposed to me, 3 years ago, by a Russian-American writer who painted me the portrait of a lonely and stoic woman. She pushes away her neighborhood of villagers whom she finds disturbing before a little boy of Chechen origin, Salambek, finds refuge in his farm… Daria’s story has so much emotional material, the film thus highlights the tensions between Russia and Chechnya.
Shot in the heart of Russia between the two modest villages Berezay and Bab’ye, the film brings together renowned Russian actors, such as actress Lyubov Firsova and actor Vladimir Kebinovich.
In his fourth feature film, Ayoub Qanir explores the history of an emblematic and magnetic country. “I wasn’t necessarily looking for a script in Russia, but I wanted to one day be able to capture the essence of such an enigmatic country. Russia is an enchanting land with an epic history steeped in art, literature and culture,” says the director.
“Through Daria, I hope to shed light on a well-known conflict recurring and recurring in our everyday world, which could be that of the war in Syria, the perpetual tensions in the Middle East or even that of today between Russia and Ukraine. However, the wonder of Daria’s story is that the narrative draws on that same difference on which the conflict is based in order to drive through it a universal message around family, motherhood and resilience.” he adds.
Daria tells the story of two characters who fulfill each other against all odds, two human beings who find refuge in each other that seems unlikely; something to attach their love to. Despite their differences and the conflict that plagues their two respective nations, they simply fall in love with each other. Thanks to this new chance, this rebirth, which they offer each other reciprocally by gesture and presence, Daria rekindles her relationship with her lost son and Salambek, meanwhile, finds his real mother.
The release of the film is scheduled for the year 2023.