Nabil Ayouch's first feature, Mektoub, was Morocco's official entry in the 1999 Academy Awards. Mektoub became one of the most successful and acclaimed features in Moroccan history. For Ali Zaoua, Ayouch cast homeless children from the streets of Casablanca. Ali Zaoua's urban landscapes are a far cry from the iconic images of the legendary film Casablanca. However, Ayouchi's compassion toward the children and their plight is evident in every frame of the film as he contrasts their stark reality with the fantastic dream world to which they seek to escape.