Strange yellow sandstorms bear down upon Algiers and its surroundings. Samir covers the phenomenon for the newspaper he works for. While supernatural events multiply, his wife Fajar leaves him and, his nephew Yacine, a medical doctor, begins to hear the voices of the dead. Faced with increasingly threatening storms, Samir will have to face a past that haunts him.
Les films de l’autre cougar (France)
La petite prod (France)
I retain a vivid memory of Algeria’s Black Decade – a diffuse feeling of fear mixed together with the passing of daily life. I want to inscribe this sensation in the present and give it a form, a colour, a texture. In The Storms, I seek to stage the return of a traumatic memory using the motif of a bright yellow dust storm that rages into Algiers, where it provokes mysterious phenomena. The film will be anchored in a realistic space, one where questions of the intimate and the social are placed alongside elements of fantasy. The narration will take time to examine how the past unravels in the present, colouring the daily lives of its characters. The troubled relationship between the protagonist Samir and his wife Fajar provides the central node of the story, but it exists at a point that is blind to history, since the war was ended with a law of amnesty – or, better, amnesia. How can a story be articulated around a blind spot? By redrawing the boundary between the world of the dead and that of the living.
Franco-Algerian filmmaker Dania Reymond-Boughenou was born in Algiers in 1982. Her family left Algeria in 1994 during the Black Decade to settle in Marseille. She studied at the École des beaux-arts de Marseille and the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, then at Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains, where she received the Studio Collector prize for her film Jeanne. In 2015, her work was sponsored by Mounir Fatmi at the Jeune Création salon. Her medium-length film Le Jardin d'essai, shot in Algiers in 2016, has been shown in several festivals, among them the Angers European First Film Festival, Rencontres du moyen-métrage de Brive, Cinemed and the Belfort Entrevues Film Festival, and won several awards. The Storms is her first feature-length fiction film.
A political science graduate, Annabelle Bouzom began her career working on issues of international migration in France, Africa and Asia. As a result of her experience as a project manager in the humanitarian sector and her desire to support film writers, she launched the production company Les Films de l’autre cougar, where she has developed and produced several films as collaborations with other companies. She has worked with several NGOs on the development of alternative forms of production and distribution, as well as on programming for film festivals. She is an alumna of the La Fémis Atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris and of the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg.
€1 923 283
Régions Nouvelle Aquitaine et Ile-de-France (aides à l’écriture), Régions Pays de la Loire et Occitanie (aides au développement), CNC, Doha Film Institute
Autumn 2021, Algeria
Algerian and Belgian co-producers, Algerian and Moroccan line producers, international sales