Youngsters in the Maghreb, looking for gold
For the 2009 Foreign Language Oscar, Belgium submitted Eldorado [+see also:
film profile], a road movie that stays within the borders of the submitting country. The other two Benelux members, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, will both be sending films that are set both at home and in northern Africa.
The Netherlands has submitted the upbeat teenage story Dunya & Desie [+see also:
film profile], which, like Sex and the City, is a film adaptation of a popular TV series from several years back. It tells the story of the growing pains of the two adolescent girls of the title, one Moroccan, the other Dutch. The film stars Maryam Hassouni, the 2008 Dutch Shooting Star (see interview) and was directed by Dana Nechushtan (interview).
The film was produced by Lemming Film and premiered at the Berlinale. It was also screened at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in July after its successful mid-April release at home.
Luxembourg will be submitting Arabian Nights [+see also:
film profile] from director Paul Kieffer (interview). Like the Dutch submission, it stars the 2008 Shooting Star from that country: Jules Werner (interview) and its story is partially set in the Maghreb. Werner plays a Luxembourg train conductor who falls in love with a girl he meets on one of his rounds. When the girl suddenly disappears, he decides to travel to her native Algeria to try and find her.
The film, which was produced by Samsa and is partially in French and partially in Luxembourgish, was a modest success in its home country, and played at the Dubai and Karlovy Vary Film Festivals.
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