Mahassine: Report on my stay in London

The three months I spent in residency in London were really meaningful for my professional and personal progress. It has given me a great opportunity to focus on my projects and also to improve my skills and knowledge by attending myriads of interesting courses at the London Film School.

It was a unique and special opportunity to live in London and to explore life in one of the biggest cities in the world. In addition, visiting museums, galleries, and networking the cultural reality of the city raised questions in my mind of how we are missing these opportunities back home in Morocco.

During my stay, I worked on two personal scripts. The first one is a feature documentary called «Revenge». This film project is about violence in Moroccan society against minorities and those with individual or different sexual orientations. It is based on fact: in August 2015, during the holy month of Ramadan, a young homosexual man was beaten to death by a crowd of radical believers in the spiritual city of Fes in Morocco. It happened a few moments after the last prayer of the day. The attack was filmed by an audience of onlookers and videos of the event have been uploaded on Youtube. My film takes this event as a starting point to highlight the increasing violence against individuals with different sexual orientations in Moroccan society.

This project was developed most during my stay in London. I also had access to an editing room to the London Film School, which enabled me to edit the trailer of this project. With all this valuable materials, I applied to a workshop in Los Angeles and a residency in Lebanon and I’ve been accepted to both.

The second project I developed during my residency was a short film called «Le terminus des Nomades», a story of unexpected meetings and crossroads of its characters. At LFS I attended many script courses that helped me to develop my two scripts.

As a young filmmaker at early stages of my filmmaker career, I need to learn more and more and take all the opportunities I can get. The challenge is how to find time and experienced professionals who can assist me to go forward. This residency at LFS provided me with all I needed at that time: space, time and professional help through having full access to the courses in the London Film School.

It was a very special and important life experience. Being away from my country, my family, traditions, what should or shouldn’t be done… exploring a new kind of liberty, all this helped me for a better understanding of myself and of the kind of art I want to explore and share with the world.