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The Desert Fish (Hout Essahra)

DFI Cinema

Alaa Eddine Aljem / Short Narrative / Morocco, France, Belgium, Qatar / 2013 / 18 min / Colour / HDCAM
In Arabic
Interests: Social Issues, Family
Rated: Mature subject matter which may not be suitable for minors. Parental guidance is strongly advised.Individuals under the age of 15 are not admitted into cinemas.

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The southern desert of Morocco. The son wants to become a fisherman and is always dreaming of the sea. The father is a gravedigger who cannot understand his son’s desire to leave their land. The boy’s mother, who is ill, wants to see her family happy together. A story about a father and son who must be separated if they are to meet up again.

About the Director

Trained at ESAV Marrakech and INSAS in Brussels, Alaa Eddine Aljem directed several short films, among them ‘The Desert Fish’ (2015), which had great coverage in the film festival circuit and took the Critics, Screenwriting and Grand Prize at the Moroccan National Film Festival. ‘The Unknown Saint’ is Aljem’s debut feature, currently in financing. With this project, he participated in the Open Doors Lab at the Locarno Festival, where it won the ICAM award. It was also selected for La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde in Cannes in 2016, and took part in the Sundance Screewriters Lab. In 2016, Alaa was named by ‘Screen International’ as one the Five Arab Stars of Tomorrow.


Alaa Eddine Aljem
Alaa Eddine Aljem
Francesca Duca


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