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Un Certain Regard-winning director Asmae El Moudir lines up first fiction feature ‘Holy Cow’ (exclusive)

Source: © Ammar Abd Rabbo

Asmae El Moudir

Moroccan director Asmae El Moudir is hatching her first fiction project.

El Moudir, who won the best director award in Un Certain Regard last year with her documentary The Mother Of All Lies and was on the UCR jury this month in Cannes, is preparing a new drama with the working title, Holy Cow.

The writer-director has been working on the project through the Cannes Residence development programme. Holy Cow tells the story of a man who, after years of unemployment, finally finds his first job as a truck driver transporting cattle for the Rabat slaughter houses. His first assignment is to transport a shipment of cows that have just arrived from Brazil but two cows escape. As mayhem ensues, the driver becomes the scapegoat.

“In this film, my intention is to address the violence of the system and to show there is no difference between animals and people in the eyes of the society…the poorest always pay the price,” the director commented. ”It will be a comedy but not with a burlesque tone.”

The new film will be made through Insight Films, the company the director founded in 2014, but she emphasises that she will not be the producer. Insight will be the minority coproducer in the MENA region.

The director is looking for producers and co-producers and was pitching the project in Cannes last week.

El Moudir is working on the first draft of the screenplay which she hopes to finish soon.

This is one of two feature projects that El Moudir is currently preparing.

The other is hybrid documentary Don’t Let The Sun Go Up On Me. This is described as “a true love story between a daughter and a father,” and is about Habib a father, trying to digitise around thirty VHS tapes he shot twenty years ago, to give to his daughter. These show her childhood face before her illness struck and she became a so-called ‘child of the moon.’ This has been pitched at IDFA and at the Atlas Workshops in Marrakech. Al Jazeera is already aboard.

El Moudir expects to decide later this summer which film will go first.

Originally published at

ShowBiz - Show Biz clinic originally published at ShowBiz - Show Biz clinic