EXCLUSIVE: ICM Partners has signed Paris-based Algerian writer-director Mounia Meddour whose debut narrative feature Papicha played this year in Un Certain Regard at Cannes and is Algeria’s International Oscar submission.
Papicha follows a young female student (Lyna Khoudri) who aspires to be a fashion designer during the Algerian Civil War of the 1990s. As the societal climate radicalizes, she rejects the new bans set by extremists and chooses to fight for her freedom by mounting a fashion show of her own.
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Gregoire Gensollen, Xavier Gens and Patrick Andre were among producers on the French and Arabic-language film and Jour2Fête handles international sales. The movie has played at a handful of festivals in France and will next show at the COLCOA festival in Los Angeles on September 27.
Meddour is fluent in French, English, Arabic and Russian. She was born in Russia and raised in Algeria. At the age of 18, she moved to France with her family as a result of death threats they received during the Algerian Civil War. She studied journalism before joining the summer directing program at La Femis in Paris.
Her 2012 short film, Edwige, won the Cine+ Award at the Saint-Jean-de Luz Festival, the UniFrance Short Film Award and was featured at several festivals including the Dubai International Film Festival. Prior to that, she made two documentary films.