Wild Bunch International (WBI) has posted a raft of sales for Moroccan-French director Nabil Ayouch’s youthful drama Casablanca Beats.
The film, which world premiered in Competition at Cannes this year, is Morocco’s submission to the best international feature category of the 2022 Oscars.
Since its Cannes debut, WBI has sealed European deals to Benelux (Cinéart), Spain (La Aventura), UK (Curzon), Italy (Lucky Red), Portugal (APM), Scandinavia (Scanbox), Yugoslavia (MCF), Czech Republic and Slovakia (Film Europe), and Poland (Aurora).
In the rest of the world, the film has sold to Israel (Guy Shani, Lev Cinema), Turkey (Bir Film), Taiwan (Swallow Wings) and Indonesia (Falcon).
As previously announced, Kino Lorber has taken North American rights. French distributor Ad Vitam was an associate producer on the film and is gearing up for a November 17 release in France.
The film follows a group of youngsters living in the Casablanca slum district of Sidi Moumen as they participate in a workshop encouraging them to express themselves through hip-hop music and dance.
It was shot in Casablanca’s The Stars of Sidi Moumen cultural centre, which Ayouch created in 2014 with novelist Mahi Binebine and was inspired by a hip-hop workshop run there by Moroccan rapper Anas Basbousi, who appears in the film.
The centre itself takes its name from Binebine’s novel about the events leading up to suicide attacks in Casablanca in 2007 committed by radicalised youth from the neighbourhood.
Ayouch adapted the novel to the big screen for his 2011 feature Horses Of God, which premiered in Un Certain Regard in 2012 and was Morocco’s submission to the Oscars in 2013.