Oscars: Morocco Selects ‘The Mother Of All Lies’ For Best International Feature Film

Morocco has submitted Asmae El Moudir’s The Mother of All Lies as its candidate for Best International Film at the 96th Academy Awards.

The hybrid documentary, inspired by bread riots in El Moudir’s home city of Casablanca in 1981, world premiered at Cannes this year.

It went on to share Cannes’ L’Oeil d’or (Golden Eye) prize for the Best Documentary with Tunisian filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania’s Four Daughters, which is Tunisia’s entry this year.

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Using a handmade replica of the Casablanca neighborhood where El Moudir grew up, the film pieces together trauma suffered by the local community during the riots but never processed collectively out in the open.

The Mother Of All Lies and Four Daughters are among three feature documentaries submitted so far to the Best International Film category so far alongside Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Doc Pictures Of Ghosts, which is Brazil’s candidate.

El Moudir is a Paris and Rabat-based director, screenwriter and producer. She studied at La Fémis in Paris and holds a master’s degree in production from the Superior Institute of Information and Communication in Rabat.

She has previously directed short documentaries for SNRT, Al Jazeera Documentary, BBC and Al Araby TV, and her films have won awards at festivals worldwide. She completed her first feature documentary, The Postcard, in 2020. The Mother of All Lies is her second feature film.

The film was produced by directed, written, produced and edited by El Moudir. Egypt’s Marc Lotfy co-produced under the banner of his Fig Leaf Studios company.

Vienna-based Autlook Filmsales handles international sales.

The deadline for submission to the Best International Feature Film category is October 2. A long list will be unveiled on December 21, followed by a final nominee list of January 23, ahead of the ceremony on March 10, 2024.

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