Moroccan producer Khadija Alami and Nigerian producer and Africa Intl. Film Festival founder Chioma Ude have announced a 50-50 partnership in Morocco’s Oasis Studios, a thriving production hub that they aim to use as a launching pad for the next generation of African filmmakers.
Sitting on the fringes of the Sahara Desert, the sprawling Oasis facility hosts over 12,000 square meters of built sets, a 300 square meter sound stage, studio and post-production facilities and production offices. Since opening in 2015, the studio has attracted the likes of Terrence Malick’s “The Way of the Wind,” the U.S.-Moroccan actioner “Redemption Day,” starring Andy Garcia, and “Baghdad Central” for the U.K.’s Channel 4.
Principal photography has wrapped on the first two productions to come out of the partnership, with two more currently in development. Also underway is a writing lab and residence that’s hosting five Moroccan and six Nigerian filmmakers, who are looking to conceive and develop additional scripts.
Since founding the Africa Intl. Film Festival in Nigeria in 2010, Ude has transformed it into one of the continent’s leading showcases for African cinema. Alami, who has line-produced and produced more than 50 international productions, including Showtime’s “Homeland,” Fox’s “Prison Break” and Paul Greengrass’ “Captain Phillips,” said that the pact with her Nigerian partner made sense.
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“A lot of foreigners don’t think of Morocco as African,” she said. “But we are part of the same continent, and our stories, even if they are a bit different, they have a root that is the same one.”
The duo hope the partnership will encourage greater collaboration between African filmmakers, who frequently turn to Europe and North America for financing. Morocco and Nigeria signed a co-production treaty in 2018.