The Story of M

Hakim Belabbes
Morocco

Synopsis

Today, a man remembers. As a teenager, madly in love with cinema, he had lived a unique story with a French woman. Even now, the woman seems to him to belong to a secret world - one made of desire but also of discovery. As much from innocence as curiosity, he explored that world. He also got a bit burned there. He remembers. In fragments. Like a man who wants to understand his past and his present. His life as a high school student, his double life among his adolescent friends, his family, then her. His desire to live life to the fullest in this town heated by the sun and by boredom. The timid and fierce love he had for a beautiful young girl of his age. But above all, his life in the cinema. He is a character; he is also an innocent who believed he could touch the stars.

Fiction
Screenwriter

Hakim Belabbes, Nadia Meflah

Production

HAK Films (Morocco)
Hakim Belabbes
nadiam.meflah@gmail.com

Director’s statement

What do we do with our secrets, which resurface, throbbing, in memory? The time of memory is not the time of our memories. The time that I keep wanting to recapture in all my films is the one that led me to tackle this wild part of life that every teenager experiences. Desire in its raw state. The story of a young man who remembers as an adult. From his youth, shaped by cinema, and his rage to experience what the movie theatre screen setting offered. I've always been teased by what fell from the sky in my youth. Hadn't I invented a life as beautiful and large as the one that cinema offers? Life has taken me very far from my country and yet I keep coming back to it to create. The time seems to have come to explore this buried life. If nostalgia there is, it is, then, literally a return to pain, without which no creation is truly possible.

Biographies

Hakim Belabbes
Hakim Belabbes
Director & producer

Hakim Belabbes is a writer, director, editor and producer. His first productions were the documentaries A Nest in  the Heat (1992) and A Shepherd and a Rifle (1998). In 2001, he made his first feature-length narrative film, Three Angels with Broken Wings. He went on to make Threads (2003), then in 2006 Why O´ Sea? These works were followed by These Hands, a documentary that he wrote, directed and produced in 2008. In 2009, he made Fragments, a deeply personal portrait of his family, followed by Boiling Dreams (2011), Defining Love: A Failed Attempt (2012), the documentary Weight of the Shadow (2015), Sweat Rain (2017) and, at the end of 2021, Collapsed Walls. Over the last fifteen years, Hakim has produced a number of short and feature-length films via his company HAK Fims.

Total budget

€2 000 000

Financing secured

€450 500

Partners attached

CCM, Cohenimages, Periscope Audio and Video, Chicago Films Workers Club, CRC (Chicago Recording Company)

Shooting period and locations

Spring 2022, Erfoud, Morocco, Chambéry and Lyon, France, Chicago, USA

Expected delivery

early 2023

Looking for

Funds for co-writing, French co-producers, distributors, in-kind services or co- production contracts with production and post-production companies in Europe and the United States

Pitch

Other Atlas Close-Ups