Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #79. Positive School – Nabil Ayouch
French-Moroccan filmmaker Nabil Ayouch will have his seventh feature Positive School ready in 2019. The French-Moroccan production has been backed by Ali N’ Productions (Morocco) and Les Films du Nouveau Monde (France), with Paris-based media Unité de Production also co-producing. Ayouch reunites with his Razzia (2017) DP Virginie Surdej as they work with a set of non-professional actors in what has been described as shot docu style, a hip-hop musical, which promises to be much lighter than the Moroccan social issue dramas Ayouch has tackled previously. One of the most prominent and internationally renowned Arab filmmakers in contemporary cinema, Ayouch’s 1999 debut Mektoub played in the Berlin Forum. Toronto premiered his 2000 sophomore film Ali Zaoua: Prince of the Streets (and went on to Sundance), but it was 2012’s Horses of God which brought him to Cannes in Un Certain Regard, where he returned in 2015 with Much Loved. In 2017, Ayouch would return to Toronto, this time in their competitive Platform program with Razzia (Morocco’s entry for the foreign-language film Oscar).
Gist: Ayouch’s latest, based on actual events, follows former rapper Anas, who segues into teaching young children to express themselves via dance and hip-hip in the middle of Sidi Moumen. The narrative follows five of the students and the cultural and familial oppositions they face while pursuing their interests with Anas.
Release Date/Prediction: A seven week shoot filmed across three distinct periods began in July 2018, with production scheduled to wrap in January 2019. Ayouch may be back to Cannes for the third time in 2019, perhaps again in either Directors’ Fortnight or Un Certain Regard. A return to Toronto (or potentially Venice), could be plausible.