You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Morocco’s Oscar Entry, ‘Adam,’ Scooped by Strand Releasing for U.S. (EXCLUSIVE)

Strand Releasing has acquired all U.S. rights to Maryam Touzani’s critically acclaimed feature debut, “Adam,” which had its world premiere at Cannes in Un Certain Regard.

Adam” is also the official entry for Morocco in the international feature film race at the Oscars. Represented in international markets by Berlin-based Films Boutique, “Adam” has been on a laureled path since its Cannes debut. It won the New Director’s Prize Roger Ebert Award at Chicago and the best first feature at the Philadelphia Film Festival, among other prizes. It also played at big international festivals such as Toronto and Karlovy Vary and will next screen at the AFI Fest.

The film stars Lubna Azabal as a woman who runs a modest local bakery from her home in Casablanca, where she lives alone with her 8-year-old daughter. Their lives are transformed by the arrival of a young pregnant woman searching for work, who forms a strong bond with the mother and daughter.

“‘Adam’ is a film anchored in a social context and reality that seem far away,” said Touzani, who wrote the script in collaboration with Nabil Ayouch, who also produced the film. “But for me, it is a story that speaks of that which is human in each and every one of us, that which brings us together, regardless of the place we come from.”

Popular on Variety

She added: “Feeling this link, this bond, through the contact with the audience as I’ve been travelling with my film has been a beautiful emotion.”

The deal was done between Jon Gerrans of Strand Releasing and Jean Christophe Simon of Films Boutique at AFM.

“We are thrilled to have Maryam’s film. It is filled with genuine warmth and speaks volumes about the universality of women’s issues,” said Marcus Hu, the co-president of Strand Releasing.

Ayouch, one of Morocco’s best-known filmmakers and producers, said: “Strand Releasing [has] a genuine understanding of the film, and that is vital for us. Maryam has made a powerful film, told in an exquisitely subtle manner, and for us it was important to feel that it was within the right hands.”

The film has already secured distribution in major territories with top companies, such as Ad Vitam in France, Longride in Japan, Karma Films in Spain, Movies Inspired in Italy, Sharmill in Australia, Cineart in Benelux, Filmcoopi in Switzerland, Fokets Bio in Sweden, Arteplex in Brazil, Mirada in Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, and Zaza Films Distribution in Morocco.

“Adam” is produced by Ayouch at Ali n’ Prods., and co-produced by Les Films du nouveau monde and Artemis.

Based in Culver City, Calif., and run by Gerrans and Hu, Strand Releasing will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a collection of 30 original short films by directors such as Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Rithy Panh, Gregg Araki, Alain Guiraudie, John Waters and Cindy Sherman, among others. Titled “30/30 Vision, Three Decades of Strand Releasing,” the collection will go on a national tour this month.

Strand Releasing’s upcoming films include Christophe Honore’s “On a Magical Night” and Ina Weisse’s “The Audition.”

More Film


    Laemmle Theatres Arthouse Chain No Longer Seeking Buyer

    Los Angeles-based arthouse chain Laemmle Theatres has stopped seeking a buyer, four months after putting itself on the sales block amid slow sales. Greg Laemmle, president of the 81-year-old exhibitor, announced the development Thursday. He told Variety that discussions with an unidentified buyer had reached an advanced stage but fell apart and that there has [...]

  • Morgan Freeman Lori McCreary Gary Lucchesi

    Film News Roundup: Morgan Freeman's Revelations Teams With Gary Lucchesi for Production Venture

    In today’s film news roundup, Morgan Freeman, Lori McCreary and Gary Lucchesi are teaming up; Zolee Griggs, Sara Rue and Ed Quinn are cast; and “Clementine” finds a home. JOINT VENTURE Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary’s Revelations Entertainment is teaming with former Lakeshore Entertainment president Gary Lucchesi for a joint production venture. Lucchesi will develop [...]

  • 'When Lambs Become Lions' Review: A

    Film Review: 'When Lambs Become Lions'

    “For us, ivory is worthless unless it is on our elephants,” says Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta in a televised statement, shortly before several vast hauls of severed elephant tusks — ornately piled like sacred shrines — is ceremoniously set ablaze. It’s a confiscated collection that, Kenyatta tells his audience, is worth $150 million, literally going [...]

  • Shannon Hoon

    Live Nation Productions Boards Danny Clinch-Helmed Blind Melon Doc 'All I Can Say'

    Live Nation Productions and Double E Entertainment have signed on as executive producers of “All I Can Say,” the documentary film featuring footage shot entirely by the late Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon. The film’s title is taken from the opening lines of Blind Melon’s instantly recognizable 1993 smash, “No Rain.” Culled from Hoon’s archives, the [...]

  • Tom Hanks stars as Mister Rogers

    How Mr. Rogers Influenced the Pacing of 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood'

    Fred Rogers was an icon to many. Everyone who met him and knew him says, “He really was like that.” He spoke in a soft voice and he was kind. He believed in doing good to others. He spoke to children in “Mister Rogers Neighborhood” in a soft voice, helping them to process complicated emotions [...]

  • Dowdle Brothers

    The Dowdle Brothers Tackle New 'Friday Night Lights' Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

    John Erick and Drew Dowdle, aka the Dowdle brothers, have boarded Universal Pictures’ reimagining of “Friday Night Lights.” Both will do a polish on the script, with John Erick directing and Drew exec producing. Sources tell Variety that the movie is not a sequel to Universal’s 2004 film starring Billy Bob Thornton, nor is it [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content