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Meryem Benm’Barek Behind The Palm Trees

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 200 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2023: #157. Meryem Benm’Barek’s Behind The Palm Trees

Top 200 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2023: #157. Meryem Benm’Barek’s Behind The Palm Trees

Behind The Palm Trees

A project that is pegged for a production start next month means Meryem Benm’Barek could very well wait for a 2024 splash but we haven’t counted this sophomore film out yet of the 2023 calendar yet. A project featured at the Atlas Workshops Marrakech and The Red Sea Souk Project Market, producers on Behind The Palm Trees include Les Films du Veyrier’s Jean Brehat, Furyo’s Emma Binet, Agora Films’ Souad Lamriki, Novak Prod’s Olivier Dubois. Benm’Barek’s debut Sofia (a Casablanca set drama about breaking the law by giving birth to a baby out of wedlock) claimed the Best Screenplay prize (we were at the awards ceremony) at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard section in 2018. With her second feature she offers a politicized text about a failed romance enveloped and set against the backdrop of France’s domination of Morocco. We expect cast announcements later this month or next.

Gist: This follows Mehdi, who leads an exemplary life in Marrakech with his family and Selma, his new girlfriend. For the young couple, things are going smoothly until Mehdi meets Marie, a young French woman caught up in the social life of the expatriate community.

Release Date/Prediction: We believe this will be ready for Venice in the Orizzonti section.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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