Sofia

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    Sofia

    Directed by

    France, Qatar

    2018

    80 min

    • French
    • Arabic

    Drama

    Sofia, 20, lives with her parents in Casablanca. Suffering from pregnancy denial, she finds herself breaking the law by giving birth to a baby out of wedlock. The hospital gives her 24 hours to provide the father's papers before informing the authorities…

    Awards

    • Best Screenplay (Un Certain Regard) - Festival de Cannes
    • FIPRESCI Award - Thessaloniki IFF

    Festivals

    Labels & Line Ups

    Credits

    Cast
    Maha Alemi
    Lubna Azabal
    Sarah Perles
    Faouzi Bensaidi
    Hamza Khafif
    Nadia Niazi
    Rawia
    Screenplay
    Meryem Benm’barek
    Cinematography
    Son Doan
    Editing
    Céline Perreard
    Sales
    BE FOR FILMS
    Production
    CURIOSA FILMS

    Press

    This admirably mordant film deserves to travel widely on the festival circuit as well as art houses.

    Variety

    Both lead actresses are exceptionally well cast, and although Alemi has the more thankless role, (...) she subtly turns the tables to reveal a strength of character previously kept hidden.

    Variety

    Perles is a joy to watch, (...) her understated control of the slightest facial expression means she owns the screen in each scene.

    Variety

    The revelation isn’t meant to add a twist for drama's sake but rather to sharpen the viewers’ sense of how much more important honor and appearances are than even the truth and to what extent all layers of Moroccan society either agree with it or recognize the importance of going along with the idea, however begrudgingly.

    The Hollywood Reporter

    What gradually becomes clear is that, despite its title, Sofia — a name linked to wisdom and purity — is not a character study so much as a portrait of a society in which equality seems to be an entirely alien concept.

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Meryem Benm'Barek

    Meryem Benm'Barek

    Morocco

    "(About SOFIA) My story began quite naturally. I asked myself how a drama such as this could highlight every aspect of how a society operates."

    Meryem Benm’Barek was born in 1984 in Rabat. She studied Arabic Languages and Civilisations at the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations in Paris before entering the directing department at INSAS in Brussels in 2010. There, she directed five short films, notably NOR (2013) and JENNAH (2014), which was selected for numerous international film festivals, and was considered for submission for an Academy Award in 2015. She also creates sound design art and has had exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. SOFIA, her first feature film, is notably a recipient of the Gan Fondation prize and a grant from the Doha Film institute.

    Selected Filmography