International feature films are a hot topic within the industry and at recent film festivals. Proving her way to the top with the debut feature film, Mounia Meddour has already beaten the odds of becoming the most successful African film directed by a woman at the French box office. Since it’s world premier at the Cannes Film Festival ‘Papicha’ has also grossed an estimated 1.6 million euros from around 250,000 tickets since its October 9th release in France, and is still playing in 60 screens.

‘Papicha’ written and directed by Mounia, is set during the Algerian Civil War of the 1990s, and was inspired by real events. Following powerful young women who refuse to bow down to fundamentalism and reject the new bans imposed by the radical Islamists, it tells the story of a young woman obsessed with fashion whose freedom, like that of all other women in the country, was increasingly curbed until they had no other option than to either rebel or leave. 

Screen International, Lee Marshall reviewed; ‘The emotions are there in every claustrophobic camera angle, in thriller-tinged scenes that show female self-expression being denied and muffled both by enemies and so-called friends.’

‘Papicha’ has recently received two nominations from the Cesar Awards (France’s equivalent to the Oscars) which is due to take place on the 28th of February 2020. 

 

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