Oscars: Morocco Selects 'Adam' for International Feature Film Category

Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Maryam Touzani's feature about a heavily pregnant single mother who seeks refuge from poverty and prejudice screened in Un Certain Regard at Cannes this year.

Maryam Touzani's debut feature about a desperate and heavily pregnant single mother Adam is Morocco's submission for best international feature Category in the 92nd Academy Awards.

The film, starring Nisrin Erradi as the single mother and Lubna Azabal as the taciturn woman who takes her in, premiered at Cannes in Un Certain Regard earlier this year.

Inspired by writer-director Touzani's experience of her parents once sheltering a pregnant single woman in Tangiers at the time when being an unwed mother was illegal, Adam was described by The Hollywood Reporter's reviewer at Cannes as "poignant and involving."

"The beautiful story of two women who transform each other's lives...shows how Moroccan society censures a woman who gives birth outside marriage," reviewer Deborah Young wrote.

While the story is "not a terribly original theme," Young noted that Touzani's film was "made heartrending by [its] superb performances."

Paris-based Films Boutique is representing the Arabic language film for international sales.

Morocco first submitted a film to the Oscars in 1977; its total tally now numbers 15, but only Roschdy Zem's Omar Killed Me was every nominated — making the January shortlist in 2011.