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.
French-Moroccan director and producer Saïd Hamich Benlarbi is a graduate of La Fémis and a Lagardère Foundation laureate. He has collaborated with directors including Philippe Faucon (Harkis), Nabil Ayouch (Much Loved), Meryem Benm’Barek (Sofia) and Faouzi Bensaïdi (Volubilis, Deserts). Benlarbi is currently producing the first films of Steve Achiepo (Slumlord, to be released in 2023), Kamal Lazraq (Hounds), Camille Lugan (The Book of Joy) and Abdellah Taïa’s second film.
Sophie Penson joined Barney Production as a producer and development manager 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 has collaborated on the feature films Slumlord, Deserts and currently, La Mer au loin and Cabo Negro.
August 2022, Casablanca, Cabo Negro, Tétouan (Morocco)
Public and private funding, sales agents, festivals