Short film “Zahra”

Sofia Aissaoui and Houda Lakhdar are Moroccan filmmakers based between Rabat and Casablanca. The two women first met at ESAV (Marrakech Film School), where they graduated in Editing and Directing in 2012. Having first gone along the path of distribution and production, these days they write and direct content for the Moroccan film and TV industry. Together they co-wrote for the TV series Al Hayat Saida, and in the past Houda also collaborated on other Ramadan fictions; her short legnth, Zahra, was aired on TV5 Monde last year and was screened at the European Parliament in Brussels to represent women in the Moroccan film industry. Sofia has been writing for television and developing concepts as well as personal stories, and has worked on projects with agencies like PNUD and UN Women. She recently completed her first short film Wind, which she directed and co-wrote with her partner Houda Lakhdar.

Short film “Zahra”

“If a feminist is a woman who tells the truth about her life, then no other quote could better portray our journey this very day.”

“At an early stage in our career, we always felt very compelled by stories that had to do with the silenced and unheard women of Moroccan society. Solitary female characters often losing grip on their reality, and trying to hold on to a sense of control over the absurdity of their lives. Whether it is in “Zahra” (2012) a housewife dealing with the anxiety brought by a life she no longer fits in, or Hajja in “Wind” (2016) whose choosing to overlook an environment that is about to collapse… Our characters attracted us by their lack of words, but little did we know how we would learn to grow through them as artists, and mainly as women.

When developing “Belly Of Hope”, wich is our first feature film adressing a flawded justice system through a domestic ruling, we had to dig deeper into that solitude. The solitude that probably brought us together, and united us over one common rage: our main character’s physical and spiritual pain. The solitude that is ours as authors, and ours to own as filmmakers expressing our angle in a society we still feel estranged to at times. Our current project is the statement of a question we’re not afraid to ask anymore: what if we were the beholders of a truth only we could really tell?”

Short film “Wind”