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PRODUZIONE / FINANZIAMENTI Francia / Belgio / Marocco

Zanka Contact in vetrina alla Mostra di Venezia

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- Il primo lungometraggio di Ismaël El Iraki, prodotto da Barney Productions, Velvet Films e Mont Fleuri Production, avrà la sua prima mondiale al Lido, nel programma Orizzonti

Zanka Contact in vetrina alla Mostra di Venezia
Khansa Batma in Zanka Contact

Questo articolo è disponibile in inglese.

A 2008 graduate from the directing department of La Fémis, and noticed with his short film H’rash (in national competition at Clermont-Ferrand in 2009), Ismaël El Iraki will benefit from great visibility for his feature length debut as his film Zanka Contact [+leggi anche:
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has been selected in the Orizzonti section of the 77th Venice Film Festival (2-12 September). Presented as a romantic rock road movie somewhere between the thriller and the musical, the film stars Khansa Batma, Ahmed Hammoud, Saïd Bey, Abderrahmane Oubihem, Mourad Zaoui and Fatima Attif.

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Written by Ismaël El Iraki, the script (which was one of the finalists for the Prix du Scénario) begins in a hellish Casablanca. A car-crash sets ablaze a burning, passionate love story between has-been rocker Larsen and the streetwise amazon Rajae. An unspoken trauma is their common history; rock n' roll their mutual saviour. Larsen's snakeskin-covered guitar and Rajae's liquid gold voice could be heaven, if only everything from his drug-induced visions to her music-buff pimp didn't get in the way. The only hope for their blooming romance is to skip this ferocious town. Is there a way out of this crazy Moroccan underworld with its menagerie of sadistic cops, venomous snakes, metal concerts and shotgun-wielding modern-day Calamity Janes? For these punk Romeo and Juliet, maybe the answer lies in a song - the one they've been writing and dreaming together : Zanka Contact.centres on Larsen, a has-been rocker who has lost his voice and falls in love with Rajae, a prostitute with a golden voice. For her, he writes songs about his nocturnal life in the dangerous streets of Casablanca, a little known part of Morocco’s underground world. Their love turns this microcosm composed of music-loving pimps, sadistic cops and pit bull breeders upside-down. When Rajae rejects an aggressive, powerful and cruel client, the lovers flee towards the South, its western landscapes and promises of freedom. But they are followed and their search for liberty will turn into a bloody tragedy… Will their love survive?

Among the references which fed into the film, the director mentions the streets of Casablanca (his hometown), the rock music of Les Variations, Sergio Leone’s westerns, Lilian Gish’s shotgun in The Night of the Hunter, Anna Magnani’s banter in Mamma Roma, the biographies of Lou Reed and Keith Richards, but also the black sun of drugs and the blood-red earth of Southern Morocco. All this without forgetting the inciting event: his trauma as a survivor of the terrorist attack at the Bataclan.

Produced by Saïd Hamich for Parisian company Barney Productions, Zanka Contact was co-produced by Belgian company Velvet Films (Sebastian Schelenz) and Moroccan company Mont Fleuri Production. Supported by the CNC (via the Aide aux Cinémas du Monde fund), the Centre Cinématographique Marocain, the Centre du Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, the Belgian tax shelter (BNP Paribas Fortis Film Fund), the OIF and Be TV. The cinematography is handled by Benjamin Rufi (who already worked on the director’s two short films). French distribution and international sales are still under negotiation.  

For the record, Barney Productions is also behind Return to Bollene [+leggi anche:
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, Northern Wind [+leggi anche:
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intervista: Walid Mattar
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and the co-productions Much Loved [+leggi anche:
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and Volubilis [+leggi anche:
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intervista: Faouzi Bensaïdi
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.

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(Tradotto dal francese)

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