Mostafa Derkaoui was born in 1944 in Oujda (Morocco). A philosophy student in Casablanca in the early 1960s, passionate about theatre, he was banned for political reasons from one of his first plays in the midst of a period of repression against the far left and the opposition under Hassan II. He then left for France and did a year of study at IDHEC. After a brief return to Morocco and the production of a first short film The 4 walls (now lost), he left to study, with his brother (cinematographer and director Abdelkrim Derkaoui) at the Łódź Film School, Poland. He notably directed Les beaux jours de Shehrazade (1980), Titre provisoire (1984), Les sept portes de la nuit (1994) and La Grande Allégorie (1995), Les Amours de Hadj Mokhtar Soldi (2000), Casablanca by Night (2003) and Casablanca Day Light (2004).