The Last Days of R.M. wins an award at the Atlas Workshops
- Amin Sidi-Boumédiène bagged himself a trophy, as did Laïla Marrakchi, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese and Youssef Michraf in the development category, and Asmae El Moudir and Erige Sehiri in post-production
Unspooling online from 22 to 25 November as part of the Marrakech International Film Festival, the 4th edition of the Atlas Workshops saw 300 international professionals gather together around a selection of 15 projects in development and 9 films in the shooting or post-production phase.
The Atlas development awards’ jury (composed of Steven Markovitz, Janja Kralj and Sata Cissokho) singled out three projects for its trophies, most notably the French production (steered by Louise Bellicaud and Claire Charles-Gervais on behalf of In Vivo Films) The Last Days of R.M. by Algeria’s Amin Sidi-Boumédiène, who turned many a head at Cannes’ 2019 Critics’ Week with his first feature film Abou Leila [+see also:
film profile]. The story of the present film (set to participate in the Les Arcs Film Festival’s Co-Production Village – read our news) revolves around R.M., a fifty-something Algerian writer threatened with death in Algeria in the 1990s. Out of fear, he decides to go into exile in the suburbs of Paris. Far from his wife and son, he continues to feel the anguish of the life of a hunted man, alongside an aching melancholy…
The most generously endowed prize went to the South African production The Chattering of Teeth by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese (notably rewarded at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020 for This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection [+see also:
film profile]), while the jury also paid tribute to the Moroccan project La más dulce by Laïla Marrakchi (revealed in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section in 2005 by way of Marock [+see also:
The Arte Kino International Prize, for its part, was won by Sweet Disposition, courtesy of Morocco’s Youssef Michraf. Steered by Jean-Christophe Reymond and Camille Marquet on behalf of Parisian firm Kazak Productions, this feature film project revolves around Amine and his friends who can only return to high school if they’re accompanied by their fathers. Amine is deeply ashamed of his dad, and so he searches the streets for a fifty-something man who is willing to pretend to be his father and to accompany him to see the school’s chief supervisor.
The jury for the Atlas post-production awards (comprising Nuha El Tayeb, Sido Mohamed Lansari and Karel Och) handed out awards to two films co-produced by Europe: documentary feature The Mother of Lies by Morocco’s Asmae El Moudir (co-produced by Germany’s Soilfilms) and Under the Fig Trees by Tunisia’s Erige Sehiri (co-produced by Palmyre Badinier for Swiss firm Akka Films and by Didar Domehri for French outfit Maneki Films, and sold worldwide by Luxbox). This first fiction feature revolves around young female farm workers for whom long workdays in the fields are a way of helping their families, of being together and of escaping the monotony of country life. They always find a way to have fun—sometimes at the expense of others, especially older workers. The fig orchard becomes a theatre of emotions, where relationships with work, love, friendship and the land play out.
For the record, over the course of four editions, the Atlas Workshops (directed by Rémi Bonhomme) have supported 88 projects and films, including Burning Casablanca [+see also:
film profile] by Ismaël El Iraki, Feathers [+see also:
film profile] by Omar El Zohairy and The Gravedigger’s Wife [+see also:
film profile] by Khadar Ahmed.
The full list of winners is as follows:
Atlas Post-Production Award (20,000 euros)
The Mother of Lies ‐ Asmae El Moudir
Produced by Insight Films (Morocco)
Co-produced by Soilfilms (Germany) and Aljazeera Documentary (Qatar)
Atlas Development Award (10,000 euros)
The Chattering of Teeth ‐ Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese (Lesotho)
Produced by Urucu (South Africa)
Atlas Development Award (5,000 euros)
The Last Days of R.M. - Amin Sidi-Boumédiène (Algeria)
Produced by In Vivo Films (France)
Atlas Development Award (5,000 euros)
La más dulce ‐ Laïla Marrakchi (Morocco)
Produced by Cinestésia (Morocco)
ArteKino International Award (6,000 euros)
Sweet Disposition ‐ Youssef Michraf (Morocco)
Produced by Kazak Productions (France)
(Translated from French)
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.