×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Homegrown tales power Moroccan tube

Fest Traveler: Marrakech Film Festival

Morocco’s pubcasters, SNRT and 2M — jointly run by Stanford-educated Faical Laraichi — are major forces in local film and TV production.

Given fierce competition from about 300 pan-Arab satellite channels in Morocco, popular homegrown fiction is vital for safeguarding and increasing the pubcasters’ current 45%-50% primetime share.

Many of the country’s new generation of helmers have honed their skills by working for both small and large screen projects.

“We’re now seeing the benefits of a process that began around seven, eight years ago,” says Laraichi.

Director-producer Nabil Ayouch has been a key player in this evolution. Through his 2008-10 Made in Morocco project, he produced 42 genre-based TV movies, and groomed directors such as Hisham Lasri, whose “The End” screened at Marrakech.

In 2011, Ayouch produced two major TV hits for SNRT — the Arabic language telenovela, “Zinate al hayate” (The Beautiful Things of Life), spanning 120 episodes, co-produced with French TV powerhouse Telefrance (“Plus belle la vie”), and the 32-seg sitcom “Dima jirane” (Eternal Neighbors), which punched a 50%-60% audience share.

SNRT’s forthcoming projects include an ambitious 64-episode TV series “The Foreigner,” set in 1950s Morocco, to premiere in 2012.

On the basis of the success of local films and TV series, SNRT is putting together a rights catalog for the international market and, even more important, for the Arab world.

In order to improve local writing skills, Laraichi has also organized a series of project-driven screenwriting workshops in Casablanca with local production companies and writers, some involving U.K. and French experts.

“Our two key focuses are getting the script right and revealing new directing, writing and acting talent,” he says.

Finally, SNRT is increasing its involvement in international co-productions. Recently funded projects include Roschdy Zem’s “Omar Killed Me” and EuropaCorp’s $11 million “The Source,” which bowed this year at Cannes.

FEST TRAVELER: MARRAKECH FILM FESTIVAL
Salute to Mexican cinema | Freedom fuels Arab oasis | Homegrown tales power Moroccan tube | Arab Spring signals return of foreign films

More TV

  • Emilia Clarke

    Emilia Clarke Says She's Been Pressured to Do Nude Scenes After 'Game of Thrones'

    Emilia Clarke revealed that she’s been pressured to do nude scenes on projects following her role as the occasionally nude Daenerys Targaryen on “Game of Thrones.” Now a seasoned actor, Clarke is quick to shut down producers who won’t respect her boundaries. “I’m a lot savvier with what I’m comfortable with, and what I am [...]

  • CBS Makes Streaming News Available to

    CBS Makes Streaming News Available to Affiliates

    Any news junkie in need of a live-Information fix can toggle on to any number of streaming news outlets. Now, TV stations affiliated with CBS can do the same. CBS News told affiliates in a memo Tuesday that it would allow them to use live coverage from its CBSN streaming-video hub to keep news events [...]

  • Baby Yoda The Mandalorian

    The Star of 'The Mandalorian:' Baby Yoda

    SPOILER ALERT: This story contains spoilers for the first two episodes of “The Mandalorian,” if wish to be surprised you do, only annoyance will you find.  BB-8 and the Ewoks can step aside with the latest expansion of the “Star Wars” universe with Disney Plus’s “The Mandalorian.” There’s a new addition to the long list [...]

  • Vikings S4 Finale

    'Vikings' Sequel Series Set at Netflix From Michael Hirst, Jeb Stuart

    Fans of the History series “Vikings” rejoice! Netflix has ordered the follow up series titled “Vikings: Valhalla,” which will be set 100 years after the conclusion of the original show. The sixth and final season of “Vikings” on History is set to debut on Dec. 4. “Valhalla” will be executive produced by “Vikings” creator Michael [...]

  • Olympics

    NBCUniversal Sets Molly Solomon to Oversee Olympics Production, Replacing Jim Bell

    NBC’s Tokyo Olympics has a new contestant. Molly Solomon, a veteran sports producer who has been with NBC since 1990, has been tapped as the new executive producer of NBCUniversal’s Olympics broadcast, one of the most important production jobs at the Comcast-owned media conglomerate. She begins her new role immediately, with just months to go [...]

  • Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci Join Showtime

    Juliette Lewis, Christina Ricci Join Showtime 'Yellowjackets' Pilot

    Showtime’s “Yellowjackets” pilot is rounding out its cast. The network has announced that “Camping” star Juliette Lewis and original “Addams Family” actor Christina Ricci have boarded the project as series regulars, joining already announced cast members Melanie Lynskey, Tawny Cypress and Jasmin Savoy Brown. “Yellowjackets” tells the story of a team of talented high school [...]

  • Kevin Hart Fatherhood

    Kevin Hart Sets Netflix Docu-Series 'Don't F--k This Up'

    Kevin Hart is expanding his partnership with Netflix with a new six-part documentary series named “Don’t F–k This Up.” Hart’s Hartbeat Productions will produce alongside Lionsgate, Makemake, 3 Arts Entertainment, and Magical Elves, with the show set to debut on Netflix on Dec. 27.  It will follow the comedian’s day-to-day lifestyle as he tackles what [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content