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PRODUCTION / FUNDING France

Cabo Negro sets its sights on Karlovy Vary

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- Steered by Barney Production, Abdellah Taïa’s second feature film will world premiere in the Proxima competition, unspooling within the Czech festival’s 58th edition

Cabo Negro sets its sights on Karlovy Vary
Oumaima Barid and Youness Beyej in Cabo Negro

Revealed in Venice’s Critics’ Week in 2013 by way of L’Armée du Salut [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(which immediately went on to screen in Toronto’s Discovery section), Abdellah Taïa is set to unveil his second feature film, Cabo Negro [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
, in the Proxima competition hosted by the 58th Karlovy Vary Film Festival (running from 28 June to 6 July). This queer ode to the seemingly carefree time of youth is led by Morocco’s Youness Beyej (glimpsed in the mini-series Ghosts of Beirut) alongside his compatriot Oumaima Barid (very well-received in Animalia [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sofia Alaoui
film profile
]
) and Julian Compan.

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Written by the director, the story revolves around two young people, Soundouss and Jaâfar, who arrive at a luxury villa in the resort of Cabo Negro rented by Jaâfar’s lover, who is supposed to join them later. But something is amiss – he still hasn’t turned up and they can’t reach him on his phone. Left to their own devices, they decide to enjoy their holiday as much as their minds and bodies will allow, despite their precarious financial and personal situation. With time seemingly at a standstill, they take the opportunity to reflect upon their relationships back home in Casablanca and upon the future, which feels so distant from their sun-drenched beach…

A product of the 2022 Atlas Workshops, the film was inspired by "two young Moroccan gay men who I follow on Instagram. They’re the living embodiment of a new and vibrant breed of youngsters who live every single moment of their lives with crazed and inspiring intensity, whatever the cost. It’s incendiary. I wrote the screenplay for Cabo Negro based on the stories they told me in order to capture their energy, their fire, their urgency. Soundouss and Jaâfar are heroes who are no longer waiting for change in order to live their lives to the max and create fierce bonds of solidarity while sitting outside of the rules. The film foregrounds these bonds and reveals the dynamics of the social and political violence at work around them. Despite the end of innocence which they experience in Cabo Negro, they are still able to rebel. Despite the extreme violence of the world, they still live their love like a river breaking its banks."

Cabo Negro is produced by Saïd Hamich Benlarbi and Sophie Penson on behalf of Parisian firm Barney Production (who are also managing the film’s world sales), in co-production with Morocco’s Mont Fleuri Production and Sihamou. Photography is entrusted to Julia Mingo.

For the record, Barney Production recently offered up La Mer au loin [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Saïd Hamich Benlarbi
film profile
]
by Saïd Hamich Benlarbi, which was unveiled in a Special Screening last month in Cannes’ Critics’ Week.

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(Translated from French)

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