Fall Grants 2018
Current project status: COMPLETED
Imider, southeastern Morocco. A rapacious silver mine has syphoned aquifer water for decades, drying out the almond groves belonging to a small Amazigh community. Fearing their fragile oasis might disappear and their livelihoods destroyed, the villagers peacefully rebelled in 2011 and shut down a major water pipeline heading towards the mine. Seven years later, they continue to occupy it, in a protest camp which has now practically turned into a small solar-powered village. However, backed by conniving intelligence services and aggressively protected by the police, Africa’s biggest silver mine is no easy adversary. Dozens have been arrested for taking part in what the villagers have called “Amussu of Ubrid n ’96” (Movement on Road ’96). Nonetheless, the resilient villagers continue to resist with the little means they have—songs, dry bread, weekly protests, a flimsy camera, a film festival and endless ingenuity.
- Nadir Bouhmouch
- The Community of Imider & Nadir Bouhmouch
- The Movement on Road '96
About the Director
Nadir Bouhmouch is a 27-year-old filmmaker and producer based in Marrakech. In 2011, Nadir directed his first work, 'My Makhzen & Me', a web documentary about Morocco’s February 20th uprising. Nadir’s other works include 'Timnadin N Rif' (2017), a short documentary, and 'Paradises of the Earth' (2017-), a web series on the environmental causes of the Tunisian revolution. In addition to his work in film, Nadir is also a researcher, photographer and writer focusing on indigenous land rights and environmental issues in Morocco’s marginalised interior regions. Some of his work has been published by Al Jazeera, Middle East Eye and Le Monde.
Production Company Profile
Founded in the small village of Imider in southeastern Morocco, the Movement on Road ’96 and the Local Film Committee of Imider (MOR-LFCI), is an autonomous film collective composed of volunteer artists, peasants, workers, shepherds, unemployed youth and film technicians. The collective is governed by “Agraw,” the village’s general assembly, as its highest ranking decision-making body. While the MOR was founded as a grassroots socioenvironmental movement in August 2011, the LFCI was created in October 2016 as its audiovisual arm. As such, the MOR-LFCI aims to promote cultural production and innovation in that marginalised region of Morocco, to preserve local culture and popular memory, to defend the small oasis of Imider from environmental degradation, and to encourage social change. So far, the collective has produced two short films and archived a couple hundred hours of local poems, plays, songs, traditional chants, and oral stories at risk of disappearing. The collective has also organised two film festivals and dozens of individual film screenings inside and outside the Commune of Imider, in addition to coordinating more than a dozen audiovisual workshops for children, unemployed youth and women since the LFCI’s founding. So far, the MOR-LFCI’s work has received the attention and support of cultural actors globally, from small grassroots screenings in marginalised villages across the Maghreb, to the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, to the Biennale in Venice.
Awards and Festival History
"Hot Docs 2019 (WP)
Rencontres Int'l du Documentaire de Montréal 2019
Citizen Film Days 2019 (Algeria)
Bozar IFF 2020 (Brussels)
29 screenings in November 2019 in Morocco across 10 cities
"Grand prize, FIDADOC 2019
Special Mention, Gabes FF 2020 (online edition)