Algeria-France: ten things to know about Mounia Meddour, the director of “& nbsp; Papicha & nbsp;”

Algeria-France: ten things to know about Mounia Meddour, the director of “& nbsp; Papicha & nbsp;”

At 41 & nbsp; years, the Franco-Algerian director signs her first feature film. Screened in May at the Cannes Film Festival and released on October 9 in France, "& nbsp; Papicha & nbsp;" has already been spotted by the Academy of Oscars.


She was born in 1978 in Moscow to a Russian mother and an Algerian father who came to study cinema at the famous VGIK school. Back in Algeria, Azzedine Meddour will direct several feature films, including La Montagne de Baya (1997).


After studying journalism in Algiers, she learned production in France, at the European Film Production Training Center (CEFPF), and, for the production, went to the École nationale supérieure des professions de l'image and sound (Fémis), also in Paris.


After several documentaries and short films, Papicha is his first feature film. It tells the story of a student, Nedjma - & nbsp; thus named in honor of the masterpiece of Kateb Yacine & nbsp; -, who fights the Islamists at the University of Algiers by organizing a fashion show during the civil war of the 1990s.


At the same time, a "papicha & nbsp;" was a flirtatious, rather free girl. "& Nbsp; It is a typically Algerian expression, which conveys a certain [idea of] resistance within this dark decade & nbsp;", explains the director. Herself, she continues, was "unknowingly a papicha," who had romantic relationships, went out to nightclubs and listened to the Spice Girls.


Presented in Cannes in May, in the Un Certain Regard category, Papicha was rather well received by critics. The British magazine Screen International, for example, mentions a film "full of warmth and sometimes humor despite its very dark subject". He was also honored at the Angoulême French Film Festival in August.


When the film is presented in Cannes, Abdelaziz Bouteflika has already resigned from the presidency, in Algeria, but the demonstrations against "& nbsp; le system & nbsp;" continue. On the Croisette, the film crew wears support badges.


The film cost 1.2 million euros - a significant budget for a Maghreb film. It was filmed for five weeks in Algeria, with the support of the authorities, who participated in its funding after they had taken more than two years to give the green light. Without any explanation, they then blocked his exit, scheduled for the end of September.


For Papicha, the Academy of Oscars has decided to make an exception & nbsp; to the rule that, in order to compete, a film must be broadcast before the end of September in the country which presents it in competition. However, there is still a long way to go: the said academy must publish in December a short list of films in the running, then, in January, a final list.


The story of his next feature film, which is already in production, will once again take place in Algeria. Houria - & nbsp; its provisional title & nbsp; - will evoke "& nbsp; this generation which lived the civil war and relearned to live by overcoming their traumas & nbsp;".


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