Kamal Moummad, the Moroccan actor residing in the United States, told Simo Benbachir, on the 360, of his joy and pride in having participated in the film “From Sand and fire, the impossible dream” by Moroccan director Souheil Ben Barka, who opened the 22nd edition of the ARPA International Film Festival in Los Angeles.
Invited by Simo during one of Nayda in Hollywood episodes, Moummad said that the screening of the film at the opening of this festival is a highlight for Moroccan cinema, adding that he is proud and grateful to participate in this edition of a prestigious festival in Hollywood.
Moummad, a native of the southern Moroccan city of Zagora, explained that he plays the character of Salem, the servant offered by the Moroccan sultan, Moulay Slimane to Domingo Pedia, the Spanish spy who claimed to be the descendant of the prophet Mohammed. Thus, he became his friend and faithful servant and traveled and lived with him. “It is a great experience for me to play a historical role,” he said.
For the 360, Simo Benbachir’s camera was present on this exceptional occasion and collected testimonies from Moroccans who attended the film’s presentation and did not fail to praise Moummad’s great performance, as well as the film’s history and setting, testifying at the same time to their pride in the Moroccan nature of this work.
The film, which represents Souhail Benbarka’s most recent cinematographic work after a long absence, was awarded the prize for excellence in filmmaking by the jury of the 22nd edition. This award was received by actor Kamal Moummad, on behalf of the director.
The festival is considered one of the oldest and most prestigious international independent film events in Hollywood. Every year it organizes its activities in the “Grauman’s Egyptian Theater” area in the heart of “Hollywood Boulevard”.
The scenes in this historical film, which is a Moroccan-Italian co-production, are set in the 18th century and focus on the biography of a Spanish traveler and spy, Domingo Pedia, who traveled between Spain, Great Britain and France, Syria and Morocco. He won the trust of the Moroccan Sultan Moulay Slimane, in particular after having affirmed that he is one of the descendants of the Prophet Mohammed, and called for jihad to reintegrate Andalusia, before being unmasked.
After a long absence, Souhail Benbarka returned to filmmaking. His career is rich in many films that have marked the history of Moroccan cinema, including the film “Amok” which has won many awards, in addition to his masterpieces “The Battle of the Three Kings”, “The Shadow of the Pharaoh” and “The Lovers of Mogador”, etc.