Moroccan screenwriter, director and producer: Hicham Hajji

Hicham Hajji started his professional life as an accountant. However, he realized that accounting was not his passion; the cinema was. Hicham wanted to return to his country of origin, Morocco, and create films. He took the initiative to learn and practice the art of filmmaking at the Montreal Film School, learning the ropes of filmmaking through a hands-on approach.

“I did a little film school in Montreal, but to be honest, my real film school was my first film set as a 2nd assistant director where I learned a lot from one of the best 1st DAs that I’ve never met,” Hicham explained in a recent interview. After getting his start in the film industry, Hicham soon realized that his dream of creating films in Morocco could come true.

In 2008, this dream came true when he created his own company, H FiLMS, to allow foreign productions to shoot their projects in his home country, Morocco, while simultaneously developing his films.

With multiple offices spanning from Los Angeles to North Africa, H FiLMS’ goal is simple: “to tell great stories in unique ways and across a variety of genres to make films that resonate with audiences nationally and foreigner,” Hicham Hajji said in a recent interview.

H FiLMS specializes in international production, with a mandate to make quality, commercially viable feature films for the global market. Their main goal is to tell exceptional stories in an original way. Early 2021 saw the release of H FiLMS Refund day, with Hicham’s debut in the director’s chair. The film, starring Gary Dourdan and Andy Garcia, was shot entirely in Morocco.

“The good thing about being Moroccan and filming in Morocco for the last 15 years is that I know most of the places,” Hicham said in an interview about the release earlier this year. This made Hicham the first Moroccan Arab to write, direct and entirely produce a Hollywood feature film.

Hicham explained how he ended up directing redemption day in a recent interview; he states, “I wasn’t originally supposed to direct the film, because it was supposed to be bigger than it ended up being, financially. But in the end, we couldn’t raise enough money, so as a screenwriter and producer, I decided to direct the film myself. I was really convinced that since it was my story and my vision that I wanted to show on screen, it would be better if I also did it as a director.

Today, Hicham lives in Los Angeles, where he works in the LA branch of his company, H FiLMS, to develop and produce American feature films. He frequently returns to Morocco to shoot various film projects. H FiLMS has offices in Los Angeles and has a team in Morocco that is focused on meeting all the needs of foreign producers.

Hicham Hajji and H FiLMS have a plethora of projects going on including God is a DJ where he teams up with Nkosinathi Maphumulo aka black coffee dj, on the space of electronic music.

Hicham describes the film as “a comedy set in the world of electronic music, with a mission to unite the world. With a minority cast, the film aims to bring this niche music to the world through the minorities who understand it.

The film will follow a young Jewish man and a Moroccan imam “who team up to form the least likely masked DJ duo – together the two overcome their mutual suspicion to take on the EDM club circuit,” Hicham said.

Hicham Hajji will continue to work every day to ensure that Morocco is the next destination for filmmakers to create their projects. He envisions Morocco becoming an “epicenter of cinema”.

You can find out more about H-Films and their upcoming projects on their website h-films.com.

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