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Original name: Déserts
English name: Déserts
Year: 2023
Run time: 124 Min
Language: Arabic
Type (Colour/ Black & white): Colour
Country: France, Germany, Morocco, Belgium
Director: Faouzi Bensaidi
Producers: Saïd Hamich Benlarbi, Nicole Gerhards, Sébastien Delloye
Cast: Fehd Benchemsi, Abdelhadi Taleb, Rabii Benjhaile, Hajar Graigaa, Faouzi Bensaïdi, Nezha Rahil
Screenplay: Faouzi Bensaïdi
Cinematographer: Florian Berutti
Editor: Véronique Lange, Faouzi Bensaïdi
Sound Designer: Patrice Mendez, Abderrazak Amouzoune, Luc Thomas
Production Company: Barney Production, NiKo Film, Entre Chien et Loup, Mont Fleuri Production
World Sales: Urban Sales


  • Cannes: Directors’ Fortnight: 2023
  • Melbourne IFF 2023
  • Valencia IFF 2023
  • Marrakech IFF 2023
  • Melbourne IFF 2023

Director’s Selected Filmography:

  • 2017 Volubilis
  • 2011 Death for Sale
  • 2006 What a Wonderful World
  • 2003 A Thousand Months
  • 2000 The Rain Line (Short)
  • 2000 Le Mur (Short)
  • 1997 The Cliff (Short)

Director's Biography:

Faouzi Bensaidi

Acclaimed Moroccan filmmaker Faouzi Bensaïdi directed his first multi-award-winning short film, The Cliff, in 1997. In 2000, he directed two short films: Le Mur, presented at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, and The Rain Line, which won an award at the Venice IFF. His first feature-length film, A Thousand Months (2003), received two awards when it was presented in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes. His subsequent film What a Wonderful World (2006) played at Venice; Death for Sale (2011) won the Art Cinema Award at the Berlinale; and Volubilis (2017), which was selected for Venice Days and won seven awards at the Tangier National FF.


Mehdi and Hamid, who have been friends for a long time, are employed at a debt collection agency. As a consequence of their poor performance, their superiors decide to punish them by assigning a task in the oppressive Moroccan Sahara to recover debts. In the midst of the desert at a gas station, a motorcycle pulls up, carrying a menacing figure handcuffed to the luggage rack – the Fugitive. This encounter initiates an unexpected and mystical expedition for Mehdi and Hamid, altering the course of their journey in unforeseen ways.