Saïd Hamich Benlarbi
Morocco - France - Belgium


Nour, 27, has immigrated illegally to Marseille. With his friends, he lives a marginal and festive life... But meeting Serge, a charismatic and unpredictable police officer, turns his life upside down. From 1990 to 2000, Nour loves, grows old and clings to his dreams.

2nd feature
Director of photography

Tom Harari


Lilian Corbeille

Music Composer


Main Cast

Ayoub Gretaa, Anna Mouglalis, Grégoire Colin


Barney Production (France)
Sophie Penson 


Tarantula (Belgium)
Joseph Rouschop

Mont Fleuri Production (Morocco)
Saïd Hamich Benlarbi

Director’s statement

“Exile carried me away in a sweet dream, like a rum intoxication, not knowing where I was, attracting all miseries, understanding only once I was an old man.”

Slimane Azem, singer (1918-1983)

Across the Sea is a fresco, the story of a decade that begins in 1990 and ends on the eve of a new millennium. In it, Nour undergoes the irreversible experience of exile, which I want to approach in an intimate and political way. In the face of this uprooting and destructive melancholy, others - first through friendship, then through love - seem to be the only possible land of welcome and joy. Across the Sea is a melodrama inspired by Raï, about celebration, love and the passage of time. I’m hoping to convey this raw, unaffected emotion. This ageless sensitivity and the question that remains: can love save us from loneliness?


Saïd Hamich Benlarbi
Saïd Hamich Benlarbi

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
Sophie Penson

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.

Partners attached

The Jokers

Shooting period and locations

November—December 2023, Marseille, Casablanca

Expected delivery

September 2024

Other Films in production or post-production