Development Short Film Projects

The Birds’ Pacebo

Tunisia, Norway, Germany, Sweden


Director and Producer: Maher Abdel Azizi



“The Bird’s Placebo” is a short-animated film that mixes comedy, drama and magical realism to explore themes of migration, economic inequality and identity. Yahya is a young man living in a poor district of Tunis with his mother Jamila who works in a street food shop, earning just enough to feed herself and her son. A few years before, he attempted to cross the Mediterranean in a container ship but lost his legs in an accident.

To help his mother and escape physical and mental pain, Yahya smokes and sells weed in the neighbourhood. One day, a client offers him a ‘rare’ bird in exchange for weed and Yahya accepts the strange deal hoping to sell the bird. In the animal market the only customer to see the high value of the bird is a sinister bearded man. The man mocks Yahya’s handicap when he gets cold feet, so Yahya decides to free the bird instead of selling it. The man attacks and kills Yahya in retaliation. Surprisingly, Yahya discovers that his soul has been transferred to the bird and goes on an epic journey around the world where he matures and finds redemption.


Director : Rami Jarboui

Emerging filmmaker Rami Jarboui was born in Tunis in 1990. He graduated in Multimedia at the ISAMM in Tunis where he studied animation. He directed the short film “Soup” which received the International Grand Prix 2017 at the Mobile Film Festival in Paris. Also in 2017, he directed the experimental short “Eidos” which was selected at the experimental festival of Berlin, the alternative film festival of Chicago and at the JCC (Carthage Film Days). He is currently in pre- production for his short fiction ‘Success Story’ which received funding from the Tunisian Ministry of Culture and OIF.

Producer: Sarra Ben Hassen

Sarra has over 20 years of experience in the Tunisian film industry and has worked on over 40 films and television productions as producer, production coordinator/manager, and script supervisor. After producing the academy award nominated “Brotherhood” by Meryam Joobeur, she founded the company Instinct Bleu and is currently producing the first feature by Meryam Joobeur in addition to a selection of documentaries and shorts.