Maryam Touzani’s exploration of suppressed homosexuality The Blue Caftan has been submitted as Morocco’s official entry to the best international film category.
The feature debuted in Cannes Un Certain Regard and has also recently played in Toronto.
Lubna Azabal and Saleh Bakri play a husband and wife who run a handmade caftan shop in one of Morocco’s oldest medinas in the city of Salé. Their marriage hides a secret that neither wants to confront until a young male assistant, played by Ayoub Missioui, enters their lives.
The Blue Caftan is Touzani’s second feature film after Adam, which dealt with single motherhood, another taboo subject within Moroccan society. That film was Morocco’s entry in 2019.
Touzani has also taken writing and producing credits on husband Nabil Ayouch’s features Razzia and Casablanca Beats.
“I’m proud to announce that The Blue Caftan has just been officially chosen by Morocco to be its official entry for the Oscars,” Ayouch, who is one of the film’s producers, told Deadline.
“After Cannes and Toronto, many other festivals are coming in the U.S., where Strand Releasing is doing a very good job… And the film has been sold in more than 30 territories by Films Boutique until now,” he added.
Ayouch and Amine Benjelloun produced under the banners of Les films du nouveau monde and Ali n’ Productions with Sebastien Schelenz at Paris-based Velvet Films and Mikkel Jersin, Eva Jakobson and Katrin Pors at Danish production house Snowglobe.
Morocco has never made it to the final nomination stage, while Roschdy Zem’s Omar Killed Me made it to the shortlist in 2012.