Youssef Chebbi
Tunisia - France


In 2010, in the gardens of the Presidential Palace in Tunis, gardeners planted palm trees imported from abroad without complying with established ecological protocols. A few years later, in Tozeur, a farming town on the edge of the Tunisian desert, twin brothers Zied and Anis are caring for a palm grove. While Zied plans to marry Samar, whom he loves dearly, Anis lives a solitary, day-to-day existence. But everything changes the day Anis discovers an unfamiliar insect: the red palm weevil.

2nd feature

Supernova Films (France)
Farès Ladjimi 


Blast Film (Tunisia)
Farès Ladjimi 

Director’s statement

Like a city threatened by rising waters, Tozeur is gradually being consumed by the desert. It seems mired, frozen in time; little is going on and it seems impossible to leave. Everything that stands there—bodies and buildings alike—is subject to the assaults of the desert wind. It was meeting twins Zied and Anis and my return to Tozeur that gave rise to a desire to explore this town through film. In parallel, another event shaped this idea: in 2010, while the Tunisian revolution was still in its infancy, another threat was emerging. A parasitic insect was attacking palm trees: the red weevil, nicknamed the palm devourer. Somewhat ironically, the weevil was introduced into Tunisia in the grounds of the Presidential Palace. Plague observes this decline at the pace of the natural world around it.


Youssef Chebbi
Youssef Chebbi

Youssef Chebbi was born in Tunisia in 1984. After studying art, he directed two short films, Heading North (2010) and The Depths (2012), both of which were selected at numerous international festivals. In 2012, he co-directed the documentary Babylon, which won the Jury Prize at FIDMarseille and was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Ashkal, his first feature-length film, had its premiere in the Director’s  Fortnight in Cannes 2022. The film went on to be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and the British Film Institute, and has won numerous awards, among them a Special Jury Mention at the Festival International du Film Francophone in Namur and the Etalon d’or at Fespaco.

Farès Ladjimi
Farès Ladjimi

Farès Ladjimi has been producing films since 2007. His ambition is to provide young creators with the means to express their vision of cinema, through supporting filmmakers and their films and identifying new talents from around the world. To date, he has produced or co-produced more than 15 feature films. Ladjimi is a member of the Ace Network (23). Most of his productions have had their premieres at festivals including the Festival de Cannes, the Venice Film Festival, and the Berlin and Toronto International Film Festivals. His most recent production, Ashkal (2022), was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes.

Total budget

€1 063 332

Financing secured

€80 000

Partners attached

RSFF Development

Shooting period and locations

March 2025, Tozeur (Tunisia)

Expected delivery

January 2026

Other Projects in development