SAN SEBASTIAN — Moroccan Hassan Legzouli’s “The Golden Calf” and Egyptian Ahmed Nour’s “Waves” shared top honors Monday night at San Sebastian’s 8th Cinema in Motion pix-in-post showcase.
A portrait of a disaffected teen, “Calf” is the second fiction feature from Legzouli, who debuted promisingly with 2004’s “Testament.”
“Calf” weighed into San Sebastian with by far the biggest announced budget — Euros1.7 million ($2.2 million) — of Cinema in Motion’s four titles this year, thanks in part to a co-production coin from Paris-based Mercredi Films, which produced with Marrakech’s Sahara Prods.
Set in July 1999, on the eve of King Hassan II’s death, “Calf” turns on a 17-year-old Moroccan boy ploy to steals an ox from the royal family’s ranch to pay his passage back to France.
Shot in 35mm cinemascope and lensing all over Morocco, “Calf” revisits Legzouli’s childhood universe: “I aim to show a different side of Morocco, including grandiose landscapes, worthy of a Sergio Leone spaghetti western, and authentic small towns in the mountainous interior,” he told Variety.
Co-produced by Thelsem Films’ director-producer Layla Triqui, a Moroccan distaff talent to track, Nour’s “Waves” mixes docu footage, archive images, animation and his own voiceover for a personal take on his ’80s born generation in Egypt and his home town of Suez, fount of Egypt’s Arab Spring — which Nour fears is now faltering.
Among prizes, the Amiens and Fribourg festivals will pay for a 35mm transfer or part of the DCP print cost on “Calf.”
Paris-based Mactari will contribute $19,590 and $13,060 sound mix costs to “Calf” and “Waves” respectively. France’s CNC film board and the Dubai festival will pay for $13,060 and $6,530 respectively in post-production services on “Waves.” Titra TVS will give $3,265 in subtitling or toward a DCP print.