Algerian helmer-writer Sofia Djama’s debut feature drama “The Blessed” arrives in Dubai after an auspicious world premiere in the Horizon’s competition of the Venice Film Festival. Not only did exciting young star Lyna Khoudri nab the section’s best actress kudo for the role of Fériel, but the film also collected a pair of important collateral prizes: the Brian Award for a film which “best champions human rights, democracy, pluralism and freedom of thought” and the Lina Mangiacapre Award for a film which “changes the image of women in the cinema.”
Oran-born Djama studied literature in Algiers, later penning a collection of short stories set in the Algerian capital. She adapted one of them for her first prizewinning short, “Limply One Saturday Morning.” Djama says, “I like short stories. I like the tempo, the rhythm, the moments of rupture. I find that this literary form makes it possible to highlight absurdity. As I am the author of my stories, I can betray myself without scruples and without moderation”.
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