French-morrocan director, born in Paris in 1969.
After taking theatre and directing classes, Nabil Ayouch directed his first short film in 1992, Les Pierres bleues du désert [The Blue Stones of the Desert], starring Jamel Debbouze. In 1997, he directed his first feature, Mektoub, which was a popular success in Morocco. Ali Zaoua: Prince of the Streets (2000) and Horses of God (2012) were to follow, with the latter selected at Cannes, in the section Un Certain Regard. A filmmaker in favour of women’s causes, he filmed an Oriental dancer in Whatever Lola Wants (2008) and prostitutes from Marrakech in Much Loved (2015). The latter was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight but is the subject of heated debate in Morocco, where it is banned. The filmmaker also directed a documentary, My Land (2011), on Palestinian exiles during the creation of the state of Israel. In 2018, Razzia was released, and Casablanca Beats is selected at Cannes 2021. Ayouch’s activism continues off-screen, he founded the Moroccan Coalition for Cultural Diversity and creates cultural centres in impoverished neighbourhoods. He is a member of the academies for both the Oscars and the César awards.
Mektoub (1997) – Ali Zaoua : Prince of the Streets (2000) – A Minute of Sun Less (TV film, 2002) - Whatever Lola Wants (2007) – My Land (2011) – Horses of God (2021) – Much Loved (2015) – Razzia (2017) – Casablanca Beats (2021)