Regarding the role of these programs in documenting events and facts and using them as historical documents, Al Aoula (Moroccan tv Channel 1) was keen to produce and broadcast many documentaries that left their mark on Moroccan viewers and were their first window to learn about national and international cultures. In particular, the Amouddou program, which started in December 2002, and throughout 11 seasons, it succeeded in embodying the true meaning of its title “travel”.
The Moroccan viewer was able to travel through the program’s episodes on an exploration trip to the hidden riches and treasures inside and outside Morocco.
From north to south and east to west, the Amouddou team is venturing in search of ancient cultures and traditions, historical monuments that have not yet revealed their secrets, and stunning landscapes that include unexpected animals and plants. Through its episodes, this program aims to weave the threads of a close relationship between man and nature and to raise awareness of the natural, cultural and social heritage and the need to protect natural resources.
Amouddou is the first documentary
that is 100% Moroccan
The fun of adventure and the
spirit of exploration on
Al Aoula (Channel 1)
Al Aoula continues its leadership in the audiovisual scene thanks to the distinguished television shows it presents and the rich and varied programming that accompanies them throughout the year. This is in response to its role as a public service and its awareness of the importance of this media category within its program network, given its enlightening and constructive role as well as its role in instilling the spirit of research, discovery and analysis in the audience.
For most of the participants in a sample of studies about the program, Amouddou was associated with the exploration, nature, culture and history. These studies concluded that the program distinguished itself in its genre by:
– Quality in production and images: The participants appreciated the quality in directing, the angles of picking and taking pictures, in addition to the interesting storytelling that adheres to international standards.
– The authenticity of the places that the program proposes to discover, even those far from the Kingdom, provides an overview of the cultural and geological history of the various Moroccan regions and allows discovering the lifestyle of their residents and the daily challenges they face.
The program was recognised in several television and documentary festivals. Over the years, it won several awards for directing and image management, including:
– 2002: Golden Award for Best Directing for the episode “The memory of Tagmout” at the Cairo Radio and Television Festival.
– 2003/2005: Awards for Best Program in “Njoum Biladi” festival.
– 2006: Appreciation award at Al Jazeera Documentary Film Festival.
– 2007: Golden Award for Best Documentary at the Arab Media Festival in Cairo for the episode “When the picture speaks”.
– 2012: First prize in the “Know Your Country” category within the 2012 program competitions organized by the Arab States Broadcasting Union in Tunisia.
and national and international awards
that prove the program’s leadership in its category.
The Amouddou program achieved a high viewership rate, which reflects the interest of Moroccan viewers in this type of program and also proves the leadership of Al Aoula (Channel 1) as a family channel that sponsors documentary and exploratory productions.
The program was watched last year by 5 million* viewers,
50%* of whom are under the age of 35,
which proves the interest of this category
in this type of program on the one hand,
and reflects Al Aoula’s response
to their interests and aspirations on the other hand.
*Viewership rates for season 11 of Amouddou (2019) by Micrometry.
The program was not limited to discovering Morocco only but also travelled abroad precisely to Iceland, where it dedicated episodes to its famous volcano Eyjafjallajökull. It also highlighted the resemblance of the characters of some of its major languages with Tifinagh letters, as well as in some fashion, inscriptions, beauty products and jewellery. It was the first experience of the documentary that simulates and competes with international documentary programs.
Amouddou has managed to carve a place for itself in the field of international documentaries through its episodes that delve into the real life of the inhabitants of Moroccan regions. The program ventured into the arid south of the desert, and even into the most rugged mountainous areas. It uncovers secrets and monuments that have been eroded by oblivion. It aims to showcase fauna and flora diversity and to discover endangered species.
The program highlighted several areas and took the lead in discovering them, dedicating episodes to feature rare types of animals and birds. They are animals unique to the Moroccan environment that provides them with a chance for survival at a time when they became extinct in the rest of the world and other episodes of the wilderness of the south and its unique animals and plants. It also travelled with us in later episodes to introduce the natural and cultural heritage of the Middle Atlas regions and its tourist and ecological potential.
Amouddou is a Moroccan production that artistically
and technically competes with international documentaries.
An interesting way of directing, scenes taken with high accuracy, a distinctive style in writing the text and an impressive presentation that, over time, formed a special brand of the program. The Amouddou program relies on these elements, besides others, to take the viewer to the heart of the enjoyable travel. It was also able to make for itself an important place in the field of documentaries that compete with international documentaries.
To enrich the content, the director of the documentary series mixes, at the level of presentation, the reporting, external commentary, and testimonies, in addition to historical references in introducing the areas they depict.
The program took upon itself the task of investing in technical equipment to improve its quality. A large truck was mobilized to access rough areas, and it was the first team to use HDCAM cameras and phantom cameras capable of shooting at a speed of 2,700 frames per second, in addition to D3 cameras. It also used infrared to capture night scenes and for slow filming, drones and helicopters, and it was the first program to shoot with the quality of 4K.
The program avoids involvement in the common themes and focuses, in particular, on constructive exploration and research. The program was the first to photograph the African golden wolf, prepare tea on the cooling lava of a volcano in Iceland, discover rock carvings of the Drakkar, and monitor the life of the Atlas eagle for a whole year.
A documentary that accustomed Al Aoula (Channel 1)viewers
to exclusive discoveries inside and outside Morocco.
“To film the Chefchaouen groundwater, it was necessary to delve inside the cave by passing through its narrow mouth. That entrance can only accommodates the passage of a thin human body, therefore, I entered the cave without the required equipment from the entrance based on receiving it later after passing through”.
– Lahoucine Faouzi
“I fell from a high place with the camera while filming in the areas of Tafoughalt”
“I stayed in hiding for five days to film the deer in the forest of Taza,
in a difficult psychological condition, until I filmed it for 20 minutes,
but later I was surprised that the tape was spoiled because of the humidity”.
– Hassan Boufous
Adventures and challenging situations, to provide the best for Al Aoula viewers.
The crew of the program faced, during the filming of the program’s episodes, many situations:
“When the team’s car broke down in the Aousard area
near the Moroccan-Mauritanian border,
they were forced to live in the desert for five days,
until their stocks of water and food ran out”.
– Lahoucine Faouzi
“To film historical graves dating back thousands of years,
that formed wonderful engineering,
we had to film in the desert,
and we were not aware of the places of moving mines
due to air currents of tens of years,
so I made every step with extreme care while reciting the ‘Shahada’”
– Hassan Boufous
The National Radio and Television Company