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PRODUCTION France / Qatar

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Filming wraps up on Sofia by Meryem Benm'Barek

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- The director has finished filming her debut feature film, a Curiosa Films production to be sold by Be for Films

Filming wraps up on Sofia by Meryem Benm'Barek
Director Meryem Benm'Barek (© Luis Fabrega)

The shooting of Sofia, the debut feature film from the Franco-Moroccan filmmaker Meryem Benm'Barek, the director of the short film Jennah (graduation film at the INSAS in Brussels), which won the 2014 Grand Prize at Rhode Island Festival, wrapped up last Friday.

Among the cast are Sara Elmhamdi Elalaoui (Much Loved [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), Sarah Perles (Burnout by Nour-Eddine Lakmari), Hamza Khafif, the Belgian actor Lubna Azabal (one of European Film Promotion's 2004 Shooting Stars, appreciated in Incendies, Exils, Paradise Now [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and Goodbye Morocco [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and recently seen in Above the Law [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: François Troukens
film profile
]
), Faouzi Bensaidi (Blessed [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, WWW: What A Wonderful World [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) Nadia Niazi and Raouia (Rock the Casbah [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
).

Written by the director, the film kicks off with a family lunch, where Sofia is taken ill with a violent stomach ache. Her cousin Lena, a medical student from a privileged background, feels her stomach. Water gushes between Sofia's legs, she is about to give birth, but is in denial about her pregnancy. The two cousins ​​go to the hospital, pretending to the family that they're heading to the pharmacy. The hospital staff agree to take care of Sofia, but only on the condition that she provide the father's identity papers before the next morning, otherwise she will go to jail. As soon as the baby arrives, the two cousins set out on a frantic nocturnal search for the father of the child.

The director emphasises that the idea of Sofia came to her "first and foremost because something was missing in the representation of women in the Arab world. Very often in films Arab heroines are under the influence of male domination, presented as victims of the patriarchy. This interpretation, although only on certain levels, seems to be somewhat insufficient. In my opinion, it lacks a more complete reflection that takes into account the social and economic context."

Produced by Olivier Delbosc for Curiosa Films, Sofia is supported by an advance on earnings from CNC of €470,000 and by the Doha Film Institute. French distribution will be handled by Memento Films and international sales are being driven by Be for Films.

For the record, Curiosa Films has also been involved in the post-production  of The Apparition [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Xavier Giannoli
film profile
]
by Xavier Giannoli, Curiosa by Lou Jeunet (article) Amoureux de ma femme [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by and starring Daniel Auteuil (who stars alongside Gérard Depardieu, Sandrine Kiberlain and the Spanish actress Adriana Ugarte - due to be released on 25 April) and L'Amour est une fête by Cédric Anger (article).

(Translated from French)

Let's CEE
Finale Plzen
 

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