The Threshold - al ataba - العتبة - It is a docu-drama shortfilm based on khalid akalai story and rewritten for screen by allal el alaoui and khalid akala,
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Monday, November 24, 2014
By Ali Karama
Siham Alaoui was was born in Salé-Rabat in 1993 and has studied management and Hotel front office in Casablanca .She has created a film company in 2010 called Cinema And Movies with her father in Kenitra,a modest town near to her home .Siham Has produced two films ; Pants Of Blood in 2014 and The Threshold in 2015.Both are shortfilms.
Although,she finds producing movies in Morocco very hard, she is still keen to produce feature films and now she is trying to find more associate producers in order to make a new movie called 'The Sentinel' which is about Moroccan soldiers especially those who have died in Sahara.
The 7-Step Film Directing Formula
by Peter D. Marshall
I’ve been working professionally in the film and TV business
for 37 years. During that time, I’ve had the opportunity to
work on industrial films, educational films, documentaries,
commercials, music videos, episodic TV shows, TV movies, Indie
films and Hollywood features.
I’ve worked with dozens of good, mediocre and bad directors -
as well as hundred’s of good, mediocre and bad actors.
I’ve read 100′s of film scripts before they were produced:
some which were so terrible I couldn’t get past the first 10
pages, to scripts which went on to win Academy Awards.
I’ve also had the opportunity to spend months at a time
teaching and mentoring film students as they write, prep and
shoot their own short films.
I believe my years in the “film production trenches” has
given me a unique insight into finding the answer to the
question: “Is there a formula, or guide, that film directors
(anywhere in the world) can follow, that will help them make
successful and compelling films?”
Well, I believe the answer is Yes!
And by the way, my definition of a good film (a documentary or
drama) is “the art of visually telling a compelling story with
In my opinion, most inexperienced (or experienced, but lazy)
film directors spend the majority of their time figuring out
how to shoot the film first (cool shots and creative camera
angles) before understanding what the story is about and
knowing what the characters really want.
I’m going to be bold here and state publicly that this is the
wrong way to direct a good film!
Because I strongly believe that to successfully direct a
“visually compelling story with believable characters”,
you need to follow this 7-step formula:
STEP 1: THE STUDY OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR
What do I mean by the study of human behavior?
“Human nature is the concept that there is a set of inherent
distinguishing characteristics, including ways of thinking,
feeling and acting, that humans tend to have.”
In other words, the study of human behavior is about:
a. What makes us tick?
b. Why do we do things?
Once you know the answers to these questions, you will have a
better idea of how the characters in your script should
interact with each other, as well as having the proper
“psychological tools” to direct actors on the set.
The good thing about human behavior is that it is observable,
and as storytellers, we must first observe the way people
react to different situations and circumstances in order to
understand How and Why their behavior changes.
As a film director, you must be a “witness” to human behavior.
You need to get into the habit of observing people going about
their daily lives, so you can find out what motivates them to
Once you know what motivates a person to achieve their daily
needs, you will have the knowledge to better understand the
story you are telling, and you will feel more confident
helping your actors achieve believable performances.
STEP 2: STORY
There are many facets of a Director’s prep on any film or TV
show, but the first, and most important part of your job, is
to understand every detail about the story: where it takes
place; who the characters are; and what happens to them.
When you first read a script, here are just some of the many
questions you will need to answer to help identify and solve
potential script problems:
a. What is the story about?
b. Does the story make sense?
c. What problem is to be resolved?
d. What event hooks the audience?
e. What is the plot? (the action)
f. What is the subplot? (the theme)
Understanding the story requires a lot of work on your part
because you then need to take dig deeper into the story and
it’s structure by analyzing each individual scene in the
script to find out what it is about, what works and what
doesn’t by asking questions like:
a. What is the intention of the scene?
b. What are the story points?
c. Where are the scene beats?
d. Where is the climax?
e. What is the resolution?
f. What are the important lines of dialogue?
Your script breakdown will be a never-ending process. Each
time you read the script, you will find something else you
didn’t know about the story or the characters.
And the script will also constantly evolve. It will change
because of your creative notes, writer changes, actor changes,
producer changes, studio changes and location availability.
But as long as you know what the story is about, and where the
story is going, you will be able to adjust to all the changes.
STEP 3: PERFORMANCE
I believe that almost everything you need to know about
directing actors is explained in these three words:
MOTIVE DETERMINES BEHAVIOR
When we break these words down, we see that:
MOTIVE (our inner world)
BEHAVIOR (our outer world)
And if we break them down even further, we see that:
What our needs are (MOTIVE)
Will decide (DETERMINES)
What actions we will take (BEHAVIOR)
One of the main responsibilities of a Director is to help
actors achieve a realistic performance, and a good director
does this by “listening for the truth” and by always asking:
a. Do I believe them?
b. Do the words make sense?
c. Are the characters believable?
And the key to getting a realistic performance from an actor,
is by first understanding a character’s objectives.
a. There should be one main objective per character per scene:
What do they want in the scene?
b. Objectives should be clear, concise and stated in one
simple sentence: “To discover where the gun is hidden.”
How to choose objectives:
a. Ask yourself “What does the character want in this
b. A character’s objective should create obstacles for the
c. Look at what the character does (his behavior) rather than
what he says.
d. Look at what happens in the scene, and how it ends.
e. Look at what people want out of life: what are the things
we will sacrifice everything for?
On the set, actors want to work with directors who understand
their vulnerability, so it’s incredibly important to create a
good relationship with every actor on your film.
And what do actors want more than anything from this
relationship with the director? TRUST!
If actors feel they cannot trust the director to know a good
performance from a bad performance, they will begin to monitor
their own performances and begin to direct themselves: they
will become “Director Proof!”
Remember, to find the character they are playing, actors must
surrender completely to feelings and impulses, and a good
director understands an actor’s vulnerability and creates a
safe place for them to perform.
STEP 4: THE PRINCIPLES OF MONTAGE
One of the key elements of being a good director, is to
understand the “principles of montage” – the juxtaposition of
images to tell a story.
In 1918, a Russian filmmaker called Lev Kuleshov conducted an
experiment where he shot and edited a short film in which the
face of a famous Russian matinee idol was intercut with three
other shots: a plate of soup; a girl playing ball; an old
woman in a coffin.
And Kuleshov made sure that the shot of the actor was
identical (and expressionless) every time he cut back to him.
The film was then shown to audiences who totally believed that
the expression on the actor’s face was different each time he
appeared – depending on whether he was “looking at” the plate
of soup, the little girl, or the old woman’s coffin; showing
an expression of hunger, happiness or grief respectively.
So what does this experiment tell us?
By carefully using the juxtaposition of images, filmmakers
were able to produce certain emotions from the audience by
manipulating an actor’s performance.
As a film director, understanding the principles of montage
will help you to: create a more visual script; to decide your
camera placement; to block your scenes; and to get layered
performances from actors.
STEP 5: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF THE CAMERA
What I mean by the Psychology of the Camera are the visual
meanings of shots and angles. In other words, where you put
the camera can either enhance or detract the audience’s
understanding of what the scene is really about, and what the
characters are feeling. For example:
There are three angles of view for the camera:
a. Objective: The audience point of view. (The camera is
placed outside the action.)
b. Subjective: The camera acts as the viewer’s eyes. (The
camera is placed inside the action.)
c. Point of View: What the character is seeing. (The camera is
Audiences will assume that every shot or word of dialogue in a
film is there to further the central idea, therefore, each
shot you use should contribute to the story or the idea you
are trying to convey.
Since viewer emotion is the ultimate goal of each scene, where
you place the camera involves knowing what emotion you want
the audience to experience, at any given moment in the scene.
STEP 6: BASIC BLOCKING AND STAGING TECHNIQUES
Very simply, blocking is the relationship of the actors to the
camera. Blocking is not about getting the dialogue correct or
discussing an actor’s motivation – unless it directly involves
the movement of an actor.
I suggest you start thinking of blocking as the choreography
of a dance or ballet: all the elements on the set (actors,
extras, vehicles, crew, equipment) should move in perfect
harmony with each other.
Before you start to figure out your blocking plan, you must
know these five things:
a. When, and where, were the characters last seen?
b. What is the last shot of the previous scene?
c. What is the first shot of the scene you are working on?
d. What is the last shot of the scene you are working on?
e. What is the first shot of the next scene?
Your blocking plan will also be determined by:
a. Whose POV is being expressed at the time? (Is it the
writer’s, the character or the director?)
b. What distance are you from the subject? (What is the size
of shot: close or far?)
c. What is your relationship to the subject? (What is the
angle of view – your choice of lenses?)
When you first start directing, blocking a scene can be one of
the hardest parts of your job. But like anything else in life,
blocking takes practice, and the more times you do it, the
more comfortable you will become.
STEP 7: TECHNICAL
By technical, I mean everything else it takes to make a movie!
(Locations, Cinematography, Editing, Sound, Costumes, Stunts…)
Yes, I know I’m putting the majority of the filmmaking process
into one category, but without understanding the first 6 steps
of this formula, you are setting yourself up for “filmmaker
mediocrity” – which is writing unimaginative scripts with
unbelievable characters that create boring and dull films.
Which leads into my favorite filmmaking quote from the
legendary director Frank Capra: “There are no rules in
filmmaking. Only sins! And the cardinal sin is dullness.”
From what I have witnessed over the past 37 years, I believe
that if you follow this 7-step film directing formula, you
will see how any director, even someone with very little
experience, can create a visually, compelling movie with
And if you have a story that has Universal themes, and the
passion to tell this story, you can make a movie, in your own
language, and audiences around the world will watch it.
It’s your choice!
Thursday, November 20, 2014
From the blog of Mohamed Eddahane
The "world" of Moroccan cinema is particularly disappointing. I'm not talking about works produced and directed since independence but the film industry in the sense that Bourdieu gave the field term that is to say, those working in a field of activity at a given time and reports they maintain among themselves or with other fields.
In this sense the field of cinema includes filmmakers, producers, actors, technicians, writers, administrators, operators and distributors as well as critics and film journalists. This field does exist, even if no sociological study has looked so far on the study of scientific and documented manner. The rest of the sociology of culture and cultural agents is lacking in our country and cultural studies are in their infancy apart from some work on the music world.
I do not mean to remedy these shortcomings in this short article but draw attention to conflicting relationships that oppose each other agents of the Moroccan cinematographic field and the negative effects that these personal conflicts (rivalries, will power effects megalomania and paranoia) end up on the production and filmmaking itself. These conflicts often due to technical reasons and to say bluntly financial reasons. Players complain of being exploited and poorly paid by producers and filmmakers (who are often the same person) unscrupulous compliance with international standards.
The filmmakers want CCM to favoritism and accuse members of the production aid commission, to be orders and encourage each and marginalize others. Filmmakers are jealous and are clans: the pioneers and young wolves, those here and those elsewhere, and for some time "Islamists" and the laity. And then there are the filmmakers of the old regime, who were pampered at the time Basri and their traditional enemies who intend to avenge the humiliation. As former director of the CCM is persona grata as distributor and producer and former star is banned from CCM activities. And then there are the new ruling authorities designated by the PJD who wish to impose their vision in a business area they are unfamiliar and where they have few customers .
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Images Selfie type flood Facebook pages and other social networking sites seem to reflect an intention to produce, on "Public lace", information about yourself and to appear in the foreground, facing the audience by stating "look who, how, where, and with whom I am ..." ... the selfies here are a showcase office suggesting that personal values, themselves, reflect the values of a segment of society ... And if all people have the freedom and legitimacy to expose their selfies and values on spaces that are both personal and public, there is, however, untenable to see the "phenomenon" contaminate returning to radio in the field public institutional diffusion ... the new issue of Radio Medi1 on behalf of his journalist-author "Face Bilal Marmid" door symptoms of emission Selfie guy ... Let, with analytical mind, to advance the debate as love always tell the journalist in question ...
No longer content with his short program "Cinema Bilal Marmid" on Radio Medi1 where the "I (u)" the journalist appeared in every sentence he holds forth, this time he has seen more by installing a second issue concerning it also has its own name "Facing Bilal Marmid" ... Of course, we have long seen enough in the Western media, rare Radio or TV programs bearing the names of the journalists and presenters, but we must know that the success of these emissions is by no means inhabited by egocentric thoughts ... first, it is an original concept, documented preparation of each issue of the issue and a copy of the guest listening to the reporter to bounce on the basis of 'arguments and exposed to further develop the question and the answer ... starting from the title of the show "Face to Bilal Marmid" self-proclamation of the facilitator as "journalist dreaded by the film industry there is already "... He confirmed that he had" self "by retorting awkwardly on his show expressions like" here is giving me time "this image; "In this issue, it will happen something!"; "This confrontation will weigh heavily" ... By reproducing this monologue and by publicizing this second issue, especially through its post-broadcast video version on the net, He managed one thing: to capture the interest of some professional and a search of public information film ... and at a time when the controversy is in full swing in the area ... a "success" by rushing some professionals to sit in front of the "brave" Bilal, of which Meanwhile in fact parts of his list of conquests.
The content analysis of the questions and the manner in which the pose shows well that the host is an insufferable narcissism and superficiality "skin" ... His awkward questions "! "Would affect, it seems, the unspoken relating to the itinerary and the formation of the guest with respect to its position, the legal side of the practice of his profession, to his contribution in the field of activity and other questions including antiphrasis: formula free freestyle.
Narcissism "assumed" puts him in a warrior armor to attack everything that exists ... It never ceases to suggest that in Morocco, criticism is hypocritical that the Federation of Film Societies is dead, that Moroccan films nil, technicians CCM lack training ... Do not recognize is another way of saying "I am the revolutionary journalist" ... It is precisely because it is not actually spent by film clubs that could not break free of his shell and develop the spirit of sharing the art of debate and synthesis skills that could prevent him from stamping his accuser and tasteless monologue.
Professionals and moviegoers really versed in the culture of film know that the image of the development of our society, the film field, such as Information Radio, grows with its successes, disappointments and hopes ... Criticism Moroccan film, such as the Federation of Film Societies, artistic creation ... exist and move in relations within and between conflicting, reflecting a rare vitality to Africa ... the problems inherent to the field are known in their smallest details, ... talk for 18 minutes remaining to guest on the show is to go straight to the trivial.
The Selfie journalist BM stresses the only Moroccan journalist to cover the Cannes Film Festival since 2006, and twice the Oscars; he interviewed great directors and they are the professionals who will make a request to be invited to his home ... These insidious information not play here that the function of the Stooges ... The film that brings information through these opportunities, is useful but not relevant ... When quoted in the formulation of questions, the names of Tarkovsky, Bergman, Godard, Lynch, Loach, Dolan ... he uses so pedantic as Flytrap ... in fact, it seeks to intimidate and belittle Moroccan directors, in a logic of unfounded comparison ... In the history of cinema, it is always critical that showed the festival organizers and film lovers across the talent mentioned but not the other way ... the proven by the host as part of a mid-journalistic mission mid-tourism in Cannes or elsewhere can not, by itself, establish a cinematic fascination repository ... should extract and subject impressions "good child "in a lucid questioning and rigorous methodology.
It is also important to note obscures the struggles and contributions of activists of the Moroccan culture in its diversity, and turn their backs on the struggle Sembene Cheriaa, Sail, Reggab ... or ignore the talent of Cisse, Bouanani, Gerima Bouzid, Chadi Abdessalam ... it's also a cultural validate assignment ... an assignment against which the Moroccan and African intellectuals, and continue to fight for half a century ... What helped sit in our country for example, and between other inputs, spaces for information and training, not only information haloed by provocation. This was the case of TV and radio broadcasts of Sail, Ali Hassan, Bakrim, Salaki, Dahan, Sijilmassi Guiroum, Labouiri ... National Federation of Film Societies; Critics Association; trade journals, the African Film Festivals, Mediterranean ...
Art is not just a matter for artistic face a single evaluator. The laws of the art market, especially in the film industry, pressure groups, political and linguistic interests have an important part in consecrations some require, necessarily, to recognize talent from the Third World, even the the West itself ... For example, the Great Krzystoff Kieslowski is a country in the heart of Europe, was discovered by critics and festivals very late ... and this is his trilogy white, Blue, Red produced and promoted by France, which has allowed the world to rediscover his long and varied filmography ... in addition to the role of the critic, the work of producer promoter is central to the conquest of festivals.
When the host insinuates Lakhmari he plagiarized a scene from Bergman, he has neither named the scene in question or its contents ... worse, it made her question poorly, "people saw you in a scene they have already seen in Bergman ... ". And even if Lakhmari played the game in general meeting, the reporter could not continue the debate on this point ... Flirting with the criticism does not advance further ... Between adaptation, Inspiration, adopting a style homage and plagiarism there are important nuances to lightly ... in describing "A film" Achaouar of success, the reporter falls into complacency. The same one that is repugnant in others ... that stigmatizes its diatribes. "A film" of Achaouar commands respect by his scriptwriting and intellectual issues and the exercise of style he has, but this feature was never a success, either in distribution or in its relationship with the public a few days he stayed in room or at festivals and journals Arab or Western ... This does not diminish its artistic merits. About the Film Achaouar may be deeper and more synthetic on cinema in Morocco emissions BM, stuffed certainties and dogmas.
Trying to apostrophize Abdessalam Laglaîi on the age of the artist, journalist confuses biological age with professional age ... And when he asks the director spiritual father of his films is that it seeks to remove him another denial vis-à-vis the Moroccan films or intimidate his favorite field, it claims that directors know ... This theme emphasizes the cliché platitude of his questions ... He knows that the process of artistic creation is very complex where the unconscious has something to say ... A director is impacted by everything he encounters in his life, not just the movies ... the Japanese director Takeshi Kitano was interested no film and therefore did not know the great directors and their works ... the Iranian cinema after the Islamic revolution had long disconnected from the international cinema. Soviet revolution broke with everything that existed before to create something else ... The idea of the spiritual father or role model is for informational fast food.
A final example to show the non-mastery of the subject by the moderator ... it is effrontery exhibited face Ahed Bensouda attacking, end to end and without any tact, his profile, his film and main actress who plays ... He knows that even if "behind closed doors" does not seem to artistic issues, it remains as other films of the 'Moroccan box office, "an important film in the economic equation these movies ... movies that sustain life cinema loyalty and a large section of the formatted television and films "Action" public ... It ignores also a part of the ticket price of these films supplies the background support domestic production, "auteur cinema" including.
Reputation Médi1 Radio and TV is no longer defend in the Moroccan media field. Freedom given to its journalists to create and innovate programs that are equal in overflowing with populist programs and alienating media scene is an example to follow ... In this context, freedom of the journalist in question is a capital to invest in program development that develops and presents. The problem is not in the degree of openness that fills his pride, but in the inward-certainties about the dogmatism of hostility and it shows. The media is infested field emission based on indicators audiometry pride ... If viewing figures of the show is going to populism and platitud
Friday, October 24, 2014
Fair Submissions: The Online Film Submission Platforms’ Code of Ethics
By signing the “Fair Submissions” common Code of Ethics, the online film submission platforms Festhome, FilmFestivalLife, Reelport, Shortfilmdepot andUptofest express their common desire to share fair business practices. They commit to offer filmmakers, festivals and any other agent in the film industry guarantees of a service of quality.
Each of the signatory platforms agrees to comply with the following:
1. The signatories only accept submissions on behalf of film festivals with a signed agreement and/or their explicit prior consent. The agreement must be signed by an authorized and verified official festival representative.
2. The signatories have a validation policy in place to ensure that any active festival is a legitimate event due to take place on the dates and in the location announced, also taking into account online festivals and their specific nature.
3. The signatories require festival clients to provide a reasonably full set of rules and regulations including their festival fee if any which must be publicly available on the online platform with which the festival works and on the festival’s website. Upon film submission, filmmakers or authorized filmmakers’ representatives must agree to the rules and regulations provided by the festival. Each participating festival must also provide valid contact details (mailing address and email address). These contact details will also be publicly accessible on the platform.
4. The signatories commit to providing a service where each submission of a film to a festival is made freely and individually (as opposed to “en masse”) by filmmakers or by their authorized representatives after they have read and accepted the festival’s regulations.
5. The signatories commit to transparently breaking down and clearly communicating all fees involved with each submission (festival fees and service costs). All payments / banking operations must be handled by the platforms with the highest security standards.
7. The signatories provide film festivals with all necessary tools to communicate to both selected and non-selected filmmakers or their authorized representatives the result of their selection process.
8. In the event of a festival being irrevocably cancelled:
8.1. The signatories commit to refunding or re-crediting filmmakers or their authorized representatives with the equivalent amount of credit charged by the platform for each submission to the festival.
8.2. The signatories commit to requiring festivals to refund entry fees to filmmakers or their authorized representatives in the event that the collected fees were already transferred to the festival’s bank or PayPal account.
9. Video files uploaded to the signing platforms will not be made publicly available by either the signatories or by festival clients, unless there is a specific arrangement between those festivals and the copyright holders of each film. The signatories ensure that all video files are protected by active security measures and all users’ personal files and data uploaded to the platforms’ servers are properly protected, cannot be accessed publicly and will not be shared with any third party without prior consent of the rights owner.
10. The signatories commit to delivering quick and complete assistance and support to filmmakers and festivals using their online services.
11. The signatories do not require film festivals to use their services exclusively.
12. The signatories commit to not undermine or damage publicly the reputation or the integrity of the system of other platforms that have adhered to this Code of Ethics.
13. The signatories have an ongoing commitment towards this Code of Ethics. Any signatory that ceases to comply with this Code of Ethics will be immediately removed from this agreement.
14. Declaring compliance to the present Code of Ethics is not sufficient to be added to the signing parties of this document, or to publicly declare compliance to this Code and its intent. Similarly, the “Fair Submissions” logo is strictly reserved for the use of platforms who are official signatories of the Code of Ethics to which it is attached. Any online submissionplatform willing to adhere to this Common Code of Ethics must first accept verification of its actual implementation and shall have its name added to the list of official signatories upon unanimous decision only.
Monday, October 13, 2014
By Allal El Alaoui
Only 31 cinema theatres still resist in Morocco. It is an embarrassing fact for the new comer, the director of CCM. Filmmakers and critics are wondering about this disastrous decrease in number of cinema theatres and the big question remains as this: why do we still produce Moroccan films? It might be the second critical criteria that also faces the new director/producer of CCM called Sarem Fassi Fihri.
The New director, known of his cool western hat and his expensive Cuban cigarettes, is welcomed by media ,directors and producers to promote and give a new breath to national cinema not ignoring the magnificent job of his previous colleague, Nouredine Sail who has himself made great efforts to reopen Moroccan cinema theatres, unfortunately his dreams do not come true .Unlike Nouredine, Sarem is very actif in the field of production and has produced movies of handful of Moroccan filmmakers such as Hakim Noury,Ahmed Boulane and Nabil Ayouch . Administratively speaking,CCM needs to be reorganized by inserting new technical staff,new technoclogy and above all new vision of the future of Moroccan cinema.This is a job that Sarem is planning to realize .But,when ?
In his Cinematic column inserted mysteriously into the International Film Festival of Mediterranean countries 2014 edition, Sarem Fassi Fihri has written in English which is something new for Moroccan cinema-goers .May be it is a sign to suggest that Moroccan cinema should be known to THE WORLD unlike x – CCM director Nouredine Sail who only sticks to Pascal country ,France .Of course, Arabic is much more used from Moroccan cinema-goers ; critics and screenwriters because it is the first spoken language.
Only 56 short films in competition coming from Mediterranean countries. However, Panorama films do not exist anymore in the festival due to the non virement of financial support to the Festival which eventually needs more than 150.000.000 dirham to cover the cost and charges of invited people .The sum of money that we have mentioned before; cannot be released from Moroccan official sponsors, or Tangiers local supporters .I let you guess the dramatic suspense that is happening between Rabat and Tangiers.