The Cannes Film Festival will begin its 74th edition on Tuesday with the participation of Morocco and a strong representation of Africa with four selected films, including two in official competition: “Haut et Fort” by Moroccan Nabil Ayouch and “Lingui, les ties sacrés” by Chadian Mahamat-Saleh Haroun.
With his feature film “Haut et Fort”, selected in the official competition of the Cannes Film Festival, Nabil Ayouch signs “A first in the history of Moroccan cinema”, according to the Moroccan Cinematographic Center (CCM).
“Moroccan cinema has already participated in parallel sections of the Cannes Film Festival such as“ Critics ‘week ”,“ Un certain regard ”or“ The directors’ fortnight ”. But “This presence in the 2021 official competition testifies to the growing international notoriety of Moroccan cinema and offers a chance to win a prize in the official section”, underlines the CCM.
The feature film, produced by the company “Ali n ‘Productions” in 2020 and having benefited from the support fund for the production of cinematographic works, tells the story of a former rapper hired in a cultural center in a popular district of Casablanca. Encouraged by their new teacher, the young people will try to free themselves from the weight of certain traditions to live their passion and express themselves through hip hop culture.
A regular at the festival, the Chadian Mahamat-Saleh Haroun is competing for the fourth time. Jury Prize in 2010 for “Un homme qui crie”, he presented “Grigris” in 2013, then in 2016, the documentary “Hissein Habré, une trédie tchadienne”.
For this edition of the festival, he participates with “Lingui, les ties sacrés”, which tells the story of a fifteen-year-old teenager who must resolve an unwanted pregnancy in a country where law and religion are opposed to abortion. .
Both Nabil Ayouch and Mahamat-Saleh Haroun hope to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. A trophy that has never been won by an African director since the Algerian Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina, who was awarded in 1975 a palme d’or for his film “Chronicle of the years of embers”, a dedicated fresco to the five years preceding the outbreak of the Algerian war.
In total, 24 films are in the running for the Palme d’Or of the festival, which will lower its curtains on July 17. They will be decided by a jury chaired by American producer, director and screenwriter Spike Lee.
In addition, on the sidelines of the race for the Palme d’Or, two other African films are competing in the International Critics’ Week. They are “A story of love and desires”, by the young Franco-Tunisian director Leyla Bouzid and “Feathers”, the first feature film by Omar El Zohairy, former assistant director of Yousri Nasrallah.
“A story of love and desires”, which will be the closing film of the section, tells the story of Ahmed, 18, a French of Algerian origin who grew up in the Parisian suburbs and who meets on the benches from college, Farah, a young Tunisian full of energy fresh from Tunis.
In his film “Feathers”, Omar El Zohairy imagines a family stuck in a daily life that a magic trick committed during a birthday will upset.