Cannes Winner ‘The Blue Caftan’ Lands North American Distribution (EXCLUSIVE)

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Strand Releasing has acquired all North American rights to Maryam Touzani’s “The Blue Caftan,” which world premiered at Cannes and won the Fipresci prize. The film, which is represented in international markets by Films Boutique, will have its North American premiere at Toronto in the Special Screenings section.

Touzani’s follow-up to Un Certain Regard title “Adam,” “The Blue Caftan” tells the story of Halim and Mina, a married couple running a traditional caftan store in one of Morocco’s oldest medinas. In order to keep up with the commands of the demanding customers, they hire Youssef. The talented apprentice shows an utmost dedication in learning the art of embroidery and tailoring from Halim. Slowly Mina realizes how much her husband is moved by the presence of the young man.

Produced by Nabil Ayouch (“Casablanca Beats,” “Much Loved”), “The Blue Caftan” stars Lubna Azabal (“Incendies”) and Saleh Bakri (“Costa Brava, Lebanon”).

Touzani said “The Blue Caftan” is “above all a film about love, about the freedom to be who you are, to love who you want to love.” Ayouch, meanwhile, described the movie as “delicate and transgressive.”

“In the backdrop of tradition, ‘The Blue Caftan’ offers a deeply moving gaze into the stifled homosexuality of a man within his marriage and questions our definition of love,” said Ayouch, adding that “the story bravely addresses the forbidden in enclosed spaces, but it does so in the open.”

Marcus Hu, co-founder of Strand Releasing, said the company looks forward to “bringing the film out to the audience it deserves in North America.”

Jean-Christophe Simon at Films Boutique pointed out Strand was the “perfect home” for “The Blue Caftan,” a movie that the executive described as a film with “a strong political topic that should appeal to both U.S. audiences and arthouse audiences alike.”

Strand plans for a spring 2023 theatrical release after rolling out in domestic festivals across North America.

The film is produced by Ali n’ Productions in Morocco, Les Films du Nouveau Monde in France, Velvet in Belgium and Snowglobe in Denmark.

Films Boutique also recently sold the film to Germany (Arsenal Filmverleih), Australia and New Zealand (Potential Films), Sweden (Folkets bio), Czech Republic and Slovakia (Artcam), Poland (Aurora Films), Portugal (Leopardo Filmes), Taiwan (Light Year Images) and ex-Yugoslavia (MCF Megacom).

Strand’s current releases include Alli Haapasalo’s Sundance winner “Girl Picture,” François Ozon’s “Peter van Kant,” Ursula Meier’s “The Line,” Alain Guiraudie’s “Nobody’s Hero,” and Rithy Panh’s “Irradiated.”

Cannes Winner ‘The Blue Caftan’ Lands North American Distribution (EXCLUSIVE)

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