Happy Lovers

Hicham Lasri
Morocco

Synopsis

May is a teacher. Serge, her husband, is a novelist who works as a receptionist in a Parisian hotel. His new book is rejected everywhere. Faced with the arrival of a baby, he wonders how he and May are going to manage financially. One evening, Serge meets Rahman, a celebrated writer against whom a fatwa has been issued – as a result of which, there is a $3.3 Million bounty on his head. Serge resolves to kill the author, but as his murderous obsession grows, his happy, orderly life starts to come apart at the seams.

Fiction
Production

La Prod (Morocco)
Lamia Chraibi
lamia@laprod.ma

Director’s statement

Happy Lovers is a polyphonic tale of characters whose origins vary and who reside within disparate cultural and religious contexts. They live in a grotesque world – one where it is acceptable that the murder of a person for having written a book that expresses an opinion be legitimised. It is ironic to compare this fable to our world today, whose contours have been recast since the events of 11 September 2001. People are blinded by their own needs, and end up committing the worst of atrocities in the name of religion, nationalism, political parties and the like. Happy Lovers is a contemporary tale about the subdivision of identity and about discord in times of crisis. Or, perhaps, how a family can be undermined by greed and moral decay.

Biographies

Hicham Lasri
Hicham Lasri
Director

A native of Casablanca, Hicham Lasri is a filmmaker of the new generation of Moroccan cinema. He developed an interest in cinema and writing when he was very young, honing his writing skills by authoring plays and short stories. In 2011, his feature-length film The End was released to critical acclaim. One year later, They Are the Dogs (C’est eux les chiens) surprised both Arab and Western audiences with its vision and style. The Sea Is Behind (2014) had its premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival and was a presentation of the Panorama section of the Berlin International Film Festival in 2015. With Headbang Lullaby, a Panorama selection in 2017, Lasri entered the realm of bittersweet comedy. Jahilya, the final film of his “dog trilogy,” was presented in the Forum section of the Berlinale in 2018. After his lengthy experience as a director and significant research into film writing, Lasri’s work is challenging, and his tales always restore the hope of humanity and freedom.

Lamia Chraibi
Lamia Chraibi
Producer
Lamia Chraibi is a producer and the founder of the production companies La Prod, launched in Casablanca in 2007, and Moon a Deal Films, launched in Paris in 2011. After studying audio-visual communications management in France, she worked for nine years on a variety of productions in Paris. Chraibi develops fiction – in the broadest sense of the term – by combining imagination and rigour while eschewing compromise and self-censorship, and always works towards a committed, free and independent cinema. She works with directors throughout the creative process, and has collaborated with many filmmakers, among them Mohcine Besri, Ismael Ferroukhi, Balint Kenyeres, Hicham Lasri, Oliver Laxe, Narjiss Nejjjar and Talal Selhami. She also produces feature-length documentary projects as well as television programmes.
Total budget

€2 676 000

Financing secured

€395 000

Partners attached

Centre Cinématographique Marocain

Shooting period and locations

July 2021, Morocco, Europe (France, Belgium and/or Swizerland)

Expected delivery

October 2022

Looking for

International sales, distributor, TV broadcaster, platforms, co-production

Pitch

Other Atlas Close-Ups