Amouddou: the Moroccan National Geographic

The Amouddou documentary is the must- watch Moroccan TV show. Lahoucine Faouzi is the founder and producer. He has told us the story of this show totally made by one Moroccan team.

Over a dozen seasons, Amouddou has taken viewers through various landscapes discovering- in each episode- unseen parts of the natural and cultural kingdom heritage. Before the documentary was unveiled, Lahoucin Faouzi had spent years in all kinds of experiments; watching a movie about the life of Jim Morrison (by the Doors group) Lahoucine was hugely impressed by the desert landscape; He then-Along with his dogs and film equipment-made a long journey to distant routes of the Moroccan Sahara. He was particularly attracted by the caves newly discovered and began to explore the many unmapped parts of the kingdom. Being the autodidact that he was and due to true support by a father who believed in his son, the Amouddou producer ended up finding his way in the late 90s; “i thought only very few of my fellow citizens were aware of the natural and cultural wonders of our country, hence my dream of getting these wonders seen through a documentary” he said.

The tough beginnings

“When i pitched my very first show, the return was encouraging, but the image quality was far from good.Therfore, I searched and -despite the price of a camera at the time- i was lucky to find one that was good and affordable” says Faouzi

The first version of the documentary was in French and was entitled “regard du sud”. After a first attempt at the second channel, the producer did find a taker –namely Faisal Laaraichi of the MRT group-who agreed to broadcast the show only if the language and the title would be changed. In 2002 viewers watched the documentary for the first time. It was narrated in Arabic and entitled Amouddou – (Journey in Tamazight). The show- made by the passionate team-was a national geographic like.

Uncovering the forgotten heritage

From 2002 to 2012, the episodes and seasons came successively. Lahoucin Faouzi has developed a work method that world-renowned directors find inspiring; this is the case of Jean Micheal Corillion who spent some time with Lahoucin and his team trying to find out how the team managed to produce good quality episodes in record time. Unlike classical production methods, Amouddou was managed by a small but versatile team;” with few means, we managed to get episodes made fast due to our open –plan method. Moreover any member could eventually perform any of the production tasks” explains the producer.

2012 end of co-production with SNRT

During the first decade of Amouddou, the show had been co-produced by the SNRT and the production company of Lahocine: The SNRT released funds gradually and Faouzi Vision Company – in exchange- shared the show’s rights. In 2013 however, a new bill of specifications of audio-visual production cancelled the co-production option. Consequently, Faouzi Vision went to a crisis that made the documentary at risk.” I decided to give up the new episodes ‘rights to keep the production going” admitted Lahoucine Faouzi.

The multi-award winner Amouddou is a true national heritage and a visual memory. Despite the world channels’ offer, Lahoucine Faouzi does prefer to stay in his country and pursue the dream of sharing his passion with the Moroccan public. The new episodes of the show are scheduled to reach the audience in early 2020.Indeed; the journey is far from over.

Career risks

In 2004 in the Chefchaouen region Lahoucine and three members of the team were panicked during a shooting session in the ground waters of a cave. After entering through a tight vertical passage, the water level increased and carried out a white dust that made the cave invisible; the divers had to feel their way back before finding the passage. In 2006 thanks to a fearless local guide the Amouddou team could film an ancient necropolis unknown at the time. To achieve this, the team had to struggle up the area to avoid the mines still underground.

Amouddou is also the adventures of a close-knit team that wins the field challenges.


O.Abaous (2019 December 6th)  Amouddou : le National Géographique du Maroc. L’Opinion

English Translation by M.ADERDOUR

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