Kasbah Films Boards Irish Psychological Thriller

Karim Debbagh’s Tangier-based Kasbah Films has boarded “Morocco,” a psychological thriller set against the blackdrop of the 2008 economic meltdown.

Pic is written and directed by Nicky Gogan and Paul Rowley, the duo behind the documentary features “Seaview” and “Build Something Modern.”

Told over 72 hours, “Morocco” turns on Simon Collins, a wealthy Irish property developer who travels undercover to North Africa on the eve of the financial collapse of 2008 to embezzle funds from his company before it collapses. But Simon’s plans unravel as he comes across Karim, a local property developer and shrewd businessman who quickly discovers the scam and sets off to give Simon a lesson.

Kasbah, a well-established production outfit with offices in Germany and Morocco, will co-produce the film with Gogan and Rowley’s Irish shingle Still Films and Dublin-based Blinder Films.

Moroccan actor Driss Roukhe, whose credits include “Traitors,” “Babel” and “Green Zone,” will star as Karim. The producers are currently casting Simon’s character.

Debbagh said the project has obtained U.K. funds and is now ready to apply for Moroccan subsidies. A German co-producer will soon join the project as well.

Gogan, who worked as an editor on “Last Hijack,” said Morocco’s style is “inspired by much of the cinema of paranoia of the early 1970s,” and cited “Don’t Look Now,” “The Passenger” and “The Parallax View.” While it’s not a political film, “Morocco” also touches on white-collar crimes, deep-rooted racism and xenophobia.

Kasbah recently co-produced “A Hologram for the King” with Tom Hanks and led-produced Sean Gullette’s “Traitors” (pictured above) as well as Fyzal Boulifa’s short film “The Curse,” which won Directors’ Fortnight’s top prize in 2012.