Adriano Valerio’s documentary “Casablanca,” which will world premiere on Thursday at Venice Days, has been acquired by Salaud Morisset for world sales. Variety has been given an exclusive clip from the film.
“Casablanca” follows Fouad, a Moroccan living in Italy without papers, and Daniela, a former drug-addict from Apulia’s upper middle-class, who find each other by chance in Umbria. The meeting is the beginning of a love that helps them heal. But Fouad’s feeling of not belonging and the interminable wait for a visa are pushing him to the brink: will he stay in Umbria or go back to Casablanca, even if it means never to return?
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Valerio followed the two characters for seven years after he met Fouad in 2016 in a bar and immediately became fascinated by his way of seeing life and his determination fueled by his almost undestroyable hope.
Valerio said: “I wanted to create a narrative and emotional flow that, regardless of time, would be able to reconstruct the exceptional nature of their relationship. ‘Casablanca’ is a love story between two people who have built an atypical family, an intimacy in which each manages, thanks to the other, to free themselves from society’s exclusion.”
Valerio’s first feature, “Banat the Journey,” was presented at the International Critics’ Week in Venice and was nominated for the David di Donatello.
“Casablanca” was produced by Lionel Massol at Grand Huit and Giulia Achilli at Dugong, who also partnered on “Disco Boy,” which won the Silver Bear at the Berlinale this year.
“Casablanca” marks the fifth co-production between Grand Huit and Dugong, and the second under the direction of the Valerio.
In a statement, Massol and Achilli said: “Through this seven-year production journey, Adriano Valerio has masterfully captured the moments of grace that define the lives of Fouad and Daniela, employing a distinctive storytelling device that is a hallmark of his artistry.”
Morisset added: “Valerio showcases the beauty of everyday life and the significance of dreaming, even in challenging circumstances. It’s a much-needed and heartwarming film that will delight audience all over the world.”
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