Soundouss and Jaâfar, two gay youths from Casablanca, spend the summer in Cabo Negro in the north of Morocco, at the villa rented by Jaâfar’s American lover—who does not show up. The two friends decide to stay in the villa and do the best they can.
Youness Beyej, Oumaima Barid, Julian Compan
Barney Production (France)
Saïd Hamich Benlarbi, Sophie Penson
This film was inspired by two young gay Moroccans I follow on Instagram. They carry within them the powerful signs of a new, vibrant generation, who live each moment—at all costs—with crazy, inspiring intensity. Incendiary. From the stories they told me, I wrote the script for Cabo Negro so I might capture that energy, that fire. That urgency. Soundouss and Jaâfar are heroes who no longer wait for change to come; instead, they live life to the fullest and create strong bonds of solidarity between themselves, outside the rules. The film will show these bonds and reveal the mechanisms of the social and political violence that is in process around them. Despite the end of innocence they experience in Cabo Negro, they will be able to rebel. Despite the extreme violence of the world, they will manage to live a love like a river that overflows.
Born in Rabat in 1973, Abdellah Taïa has published several novels with Éditions du Seuil, which have been released in translation in Europe and the United States: The King’s Day (Prix de Flore 2010), Un pays pour mourir (PEN America Literary Awards 2021) and Vivre à ta lumière (2022). In 2014, he directed his first film, The Salvation Army. Based on his novel of the same name, the film was selected for the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, and was awarded the Grand Prix at the Angers European First Film Festival as well as the Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Award.
A graduate of La Fémis and winner of the Jean-Luc Lagardère Foundation Film Producer Grant, Saïd Hamich Benlarbi is a French-Moroccan screenwriter, director and producer. He has collaborated with filmmakers including Nabil Ayouch, Meryem Benm’Barek, Faouzi Bensaïdi, Leyla Bouzid, Clément Cogitore, Philippe Faucon and Rachel Lang. In 2018, he directed his first film, Return to Bollene, which was nominated for the Prix Louis-Delluc for Best First Film. In 2021, his short film Le Départ was selected for 100 international festivals and won 27 awards and was nominated for a César Award in 2022. Across the Sea is his second feature-length film.
Sophie Penson joined Barney Production as producer and development manager in 2016 after studying at La Fémis. She has produced short films by Vincent Tricon, Ilias El Faris, Randa Maroufi, Saïd Hamich Benlarbi and Camille Lugan, and collaborated on feature films Slumlord, Deserts and currently La Mer au loin.
August 2022, Casablanca, Cabo Negro, Tétouan (Morocco)
Public and private funding, sales agents, festivals