Those Going to Paradise

Nabil Merrouch
Morocco

Synopsis

Larbi, a young precarious worker, dies in a fall from a building under construction. His soul ascends to Heaven but is refused entry on the grounds that he does not have a burial certificate. Sent back to Earth to finalise his arrangements, he travels undead through a cynical and inhuman world in search of a grave. On the way, he stumbles upon his painful history as an orphan that cost him his childhood and, in a sort of continuum, his death.

Fiction
1st feature
Production

Tifawfilms (Morocco)
Rim Mejdi
tifawfilms@gmail.com

Director’s statement

At the crossroads of realism and fantasy, Those Going to Paradise takes place in an imaginary Morocco in which it is perfectly normal for the dead to return and mix with the living for one reason or another. With this project, I am trying, through my filmmaker's eye, to chronicle the Kafkaesque daily life of the “little people” of whom the protagonist is one. I want to make an amusing film, mixing black humour and a sense of the absurd while offering a sharp social and political satire that paints a picture of ruthless alienation. The grotesque aspects of the characters, the story and the cinematographic treatment are, for me, a meditation on, and a calculated expression of, the hold that institutions have on our bodies, our freedoms, our lives; and this in an uncompromising way, without it seeming a shock, as if it were the natural state of things. Is this our mektoub (destiny), perhaps?

Biographies

Nabil Merrouch
Nabil Merrouch
Director

Born in Bordeaux, Nabil Merrouch spent the rest of his youth in Casablanca and in 2009 joined the CLCF and then the University of Paris-Est for a degree in Film Studies. He co-founded Tifaw Films in 2018 and the same year he directed his first fiction short film, Jayeen. His short film High Temperature received a grant from SCAM and his first feature-length film, Those Going to Paradise is currently in developmented in through the Méditalents 2020 Lab programme and the, Casell’arte Rresidency, and whas been pitched in at the Festival des scénaristes de Valence in 2021.

Rim Mejdi
Rim Mejdi
Producer

Rim Mejdi was born in Marrakech. She studied at the School of Visual Arts Marrakech, where she earned a BA and an MA in Film Directing. Her short film Out of Town was screened at the Locarno Festival, the Cairo International Film Festival and the Carthage Film Festival, among many others. Mejdi has attended several festivals and markets, including FIDMarseille in 2015, the Locarno Filmmakers Academy in 2015, the Berlinale Talents Short Film Station in 2016, TorinoFilmLab in 2017, Film Independent GMM in 2018, the Atlas Workshops in 2018, the CineGouna Platform in 2019, the Realness Pan-African Residency, the Durban Filmmart 2020 and the Rotterdam Producers’ Lab in 2020. 

Total budget

€737 304

Financing secured

€42 155

Partners attached

Meditalents, Casell’arte

Shooting period and locations

June, July 2023, Casablanca, Morocco

Expected delivery

Spring, Summer 2024

Looking for

Development funds, assistance with screenwriting, European co-prodcers

Pitch

Other Atlas Close-Ups