The Blue Lake

Daoud Aoulad-Syad
Morocco

Synopsis

The Blue Lake is the story of ten-year-old Youssef—who is blind—his grandfather and a camera. Youssef is searching for a lake in the middle of the desert. In order not to disappoint him, Youssef’s grandfather describes a desert that exists only in his imagination—the desert that Youssef will photograph. The film examines how the camera becomes a bridge to the visible world for a blind child, and how it helps him grow up and accept his handicap.

Fiction
Production

Les films du Sud (Morocco)
Daoud Aoulad-Syad
daoud.aouladsyad@gmail.com

Director’s statement

The Blue Lake tells the story of blind, ten-year-old Youssef, and his grandfather Allal, a cab driver. Armed with a camera, Youssef goes with Allal to look for a lake in the middle of the desert, thus photographing his grandfather's dream. I imagine the film to be mainly in still shots, but a light camera will be carried by Youssef to follow his point of view. The role of Youssef will be played by a blind child. The main theme of the film being transmission, we will favour sequence shots that will harmonise with this slow rhythm. The desert spaces will be filmed with a lens that gives depth of field. Also, I will pay particular attention to the soundtrack, which will be composed of wind and silence: the notes of the desert. This is the film I would like to make.

Biographies

Daoud Aoulad-Syad
Daoud Aoulad-Syad
Director & producer

Born in 1953 in Marrakech, Daoud Aoulad-Syad obtained his doctorate in Physical Sciences from the University of Nancy. He started working in the film industry in 1989, thanks to the Université d'été, découverte du cinéma en France course at La Fémis. He then directed his first two short films: K ricature and Paris, July 13. In 1991, he tried his hand at making short documentaries with Memoire ocre, which was broadcast on Arte in 1993. The same year, he followed up with Between Absence and Oblivion, which was selected for festivals in Clermont-Ferrand, Carthage, Freiburg and Milan, and L'Oued. He directed Adieu forain, his first feature-length narrative film, in 1998. Three years later came The Wind Horse (Aoud rih), then Tarfaya and Waiting for Pasolini (Fi Ntidhar Pasolini) and The Mosque (A Jamaâ). More recently, he directed Les Voix du désert (Assouat assahra) in 2017. Aoulad-Syad is also a photographer and has published three books: Moroccans in 1989; Boujaâd, Space and Memory in 1996; and Territories of the Moment (with Ahmed Bouanani) in 2000.

Total budget

€338 655

Shooting period and locations

October 2022, Morocco

Expected delivery

2023

Looking for

Co-producers

Pitch

Other Atlas Close-Ups