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8th edition: 10 April - 14 April 2019

Sofia (2019 Feature Film)

Meryem Benm'barek | Morocco, France, Qatar | 2018 | color | DCP | 80' | Arabic, French | e.s.

Sofia, a Moroccan girl, is 20, unmarried and almost a mother – and didn’t even know she was pregnant. The unexpected birth causes major problems in a country where sex outside marriage is a criminal offence. Powerful feature debut that throws a composed yet sharp light on an unreasonable social system.

How long can you deny a pregnancy, hide it? Not long, as the 20-year-old Moroccan Sofia found out: her waters broke suddenly in the kitchen of her parental home. Her cousin Lena takes her to hospital, but there they face problems; in Morocco, sex outside marriage is an offence. A woman having a baby can only be admitted to hospital when there’s a man to acknowledge fathering the unborn child. In order to get help, save her family's honor and stay out of jail, Sofia must find the father of her child and marry him as soon as possible.

In a calm, unadorned style, Meryem Benm'Barek slowly reveals the scale of the social forces oppressing Sofia. Class differences, written and unwritten rules, hypocrisy and abuse of power all play a role in this self-assured feature debut, in which Sofia tries to stay on top of the situation, with far-reaching consequences.

Place: The Cinemas 1

Date: 12 April 2019

Time: 13:00

Duration: 1:00

Place: The Cinemas 2

Date: 13 April 2019

Time: 19:45

Duration: 1:00

Place: The Cinemas 2

Date: 14 April 2019

Time: 10:15

Duration: 1:00

Year in Festival
Meryem Benm'barek
Son Doan
Maha Alemi
Lubna Azabal
Sarah Perles
Faouzi Bensaïdi
Hamza Khafif
Nadia Niazi
Céline Perréard
Olivier Delbosc
Production Company
Curiosa Films
Production Design
Samuel Charbonnot
Be For Films
Meryem Benm'Barek
Year of Production
Meryem Benm'barek

Meryem BENM'BAREK (1984, Morocco) is a director and screenwriter. She studied Arabic Languages in Paris, and went to Brussels to study directing in 2010. She directed five short films and gained recognition for Nor (2013) and Jennah (2014), the latter winning her two filmmaking awards in the United States. Benm'Barek has also created exhibitions in sound art at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In 2017, she received the Gan Foundation prize and a grant from the Doha Film Institute. Her feature debut, Sofia (2018), won the award for best screenplay in Cannes. 



Nor (2013, short), Jennah (2014, short), Sofia (2018)