Seattle-based prodco Vulcan Productions has partnered with filmmaker Mohamed El Aboudi (Dance of Outlaws, Netizen Mo) to produce his latest feature-length documentary, School of Hope.
Produced by Finland’s Illume LTD, and coproduced with Paris-based Bellota Films, Casablanca-based La Prod and Vulcan, School of Hope (pictured) will detail the impact that the impending climate crisis has on nomadic children in rural Morocco as they struggle to receive a proper education.
The project will follow the children of the Dehbi Tribe, who walk miles to a tiny schoolhouse built by their parents, over a three-year period as they hope to secure academic opportunities that will prepare the next generation for life in a modern world.
It will also document the struggles of their young teachers, who can only provide the first elementary lessons, while also suffering themselves from the government’s indifference toward the country’s harsh rural regions.
“With this film, I want to show that climate change is very unjust. People with the smallest carbon footprint, like the Dehbi tribe, are the ones who suffer the most,” said El Aboudi in a statement. “For these people, education is a matter of life and death – there is no future with dignity without education.”
“Director Mohamed El Aboudi grew up in mountains not far from where the Dehbi tribe lives, and he was able to build an empathetic rapport that comes through in every frame,” added Ruth Johnston, GM of Vulcan Productions. “His lens captures both the universality and individuality of each child.”
School of Hope is executive produced by Vulcan’s Jody Allen, Ruth Johnston and Rocky Collins, with Illume’s Pertti Veijalainen and Bellotta Films’ Hind Saïh and Dominique Barneaud serving as producers.
The film is also presented with the participation of YLE Finland, France Télévisions and 2M Morocco, and the support of the Finnish Film Foundation and Doha Film Institute.
School of Hope marks one of the last films to come from the Vulcan Productions pipeline. The Seattle-based production company established by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen announced in May that it would be closing its doors at the start of 2021.
The prodco was behind such acclaimed documentaries as The Ivory Game, Body Team 12, Racing Extinction, Ghost Fleet, The Cold Blue, Oliver Sacks: His Own Life and Sundance audience award winner The Reason I Jump. Its first documentary project, Inspirations, was helmed by Michael Apted and featured artists from various disciplines, ranging from David Bowie to Roy Lichtenstein, discussing their creative processes.