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The Desert Fish

Fall Grant 2012 - Production Stage

Alaa Eddine Aljem / Short Narrative / Morocco, France, Belgium, Qatar / 2013 / 18 min / Colour / Original Language: Arabic / Interests: Social Issues, Family


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.


Alaa Eddine Aljem
Alaa Eddine Aljem
Francesca Duca

About the Director

Trained at ESAV Marrakech and INSAS in Brussels, Alaa Eddine Aljem directed several short films, including ‘The Desert Fish’ (2015), which gained great acclaim on 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. With this project, Aljem participated in the Open Doors Lab at the Locarno Festival, where it won the ICAM award. Aljem also took part in La Fabrique des Cinémas du Monde in Cannes in 2016, and in the Sundance Screenwriters’ Lab. In 2016, Alaa was named by Screen International as one of the "Five Arab Stars of Tomorrow".

Awards and Festival History


Premiered at National Film Festival in Tangier 2015 (Morocco)


Won Best Screenplay at the Critics Award and the Grand Prize at the National Film Festival in Tangier 2015 (Morocco)


  • Main Contact

    Alaa Eddine Aljem

    Le moindre geste

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