Adil El Arabi and Bilal Falah (“Bad Boys of Life,” “Black”), a Moroccan-Belgian filmmaking duo, are set to direct “Rebel”, a portrait of a family torn apart by the future of a young Muslim boy.
Wild Bunch International (“Les Misebres”) and CAA Media Finance are involved in the project, which tells the story of Nasim, a 13-year-old Moroccan boy from Molenbeek, who was looking for an identity after his father’s death. Although his mother Laila is anxiously trying to keep him away from Karim, his older local gangster brother Nasim needs to decide what the rest of his life will be like even at this young age.
“Rebel” is producing caviar (“The Rider,” “Black”), co-produced by Beluga Tree (“French”), Callach Films and Le Collective 64.
The film marks the return to filmmaking in Belgium after Helmers directed “Base Boys for Life”, which became the highest-grossing film of 2020 by far.
“Rebel” will be titled newcomer Amir El Arabi, as well as Abubakar Bensaihi (“Black”) and Lubna Azabal (“Insandiz”). The movies will be directed by music and dance, with top choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaui (“Anna Karenina”), cinematographer Robrett Havart (“Bad Boy for Life”) and composer Hans de Mayer (“Black”).
“Rebel” is a true emotional project, “said Adil and Bilal.” It is deeply personal for us to be able to tell this story about our generation and those who seek this identity. We have put together a strong creative team and are eager to bring it to the big screen in the end. O’Brien co-wrote the screenplay with Van Dyke and Kevin Moole.
El Arabi and Falla broke a Romeo and Juliet-type drama established internationally in the world of organized crime in Belgium with their film “Black”, which won the 2015 Discovery Division in Toronto. They have “Gangsta” for their other accomplishments, which they are currently developing sequels to, as well as the pilots and episodes of the FX series “Snowfall”.
Produced by Bert Hamelink and Dmitry Verbeck. Diana Elbaum from Beluga Tree, Jesus Gonzalez from Callach Films and Mark Dujardin from Le Collective 644 are co-producing; Executive producers are Robin Keremans, Clarissa Vermack and Sacha Ben Harroche.
“Rebel” supports Flander Audiovisual Fund (VAF), VRT, Canepolis Film Distribution, Telenet, Screen Flanders, Caviar Film Financing and Creative Europe Media.
Wild Bunch International is conducting international sales and will introduce the project to buyers in the virtual ear market.
Adil and Bilal represent CAA, Management 360 and Carl Austen. CAA Media Finance will represent the North American rights to the film.