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The Unknown Saint (Saint Inconnu)

Qumra Projects

Alaa Eddine Aljem / Feature Narrative / Morocco, France, Qatar / 80 min
In Arabic
Interests: Social Issues, Dark Comedy, Comedy, Drama
Rated: This film has not been rated.


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Synopsis

Young Amine steals a large sum of money and escapes into the hills with the police hot on his trail. Before being arrested, he buries the cash and disguises it as a modest tomb. Ten years later, he is released from prison and sets off in search of his money. In the meantime, a shrine has been built on the place where he buried his stash to honour a saint who used to live in the region, and whose tomb was not found until 10 years ago. His name is lost; he is known as “the unknown saint”. Down the hill from the shrine, a new village subsists mainly as a result of the economic activity generated by pilgrims who come from all over the country and even from abroad. Amine settles in the new village and tries desperately to get his money back.

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.

Credits

Director
Alaa Eddine Aljem
Producer
Francesca Duca

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