“Among us”, film by Sofia Alaoui, in official competition of the Sundance festival

Dounia Production, co-producer in Morocco of the film “Among us” has just announced that the feature film directed by Sofia Alaoui has been selected in official competition at the prestigious American festival Sundance 2023.

“Among Us” (“Animalia” in English) will therefore compete in the next edition of the festival to be held from January 19 to 29 in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah.
For Sofia Alaoui, it is a second participation in the Sundance Film Festival, after the young director obtained the Grand Jury Prize for the short film for “What matters if the animals die” in 2020, also rewarded with a César 2021 This “short” produced in the Amazigh language was a first draft of the astonishing universe developed in “Animalia”.
This imaginative sci-fi tale explores, with hypnotic visual sensitivity, the unsettling circumstances of a world that no longer seems recognizable. A surreal context that releases the tension between faith and dogma, erodes myths and challenges class prejudices to finally reveal to us that we are all more connected to each other than we believe.
The scenario takes us alongside Itto, 22, newly married, who lives with her in-laws with her husband Amine, during her pregnancy. As it comes to an end and Amine has gone on a business trip, a mysterious state of emergency is declared in the country. More and more disturbing events and strange meteorological phenomena follow one another, suggesting the approach of a supernatural presence…

The film “Animalia” (“Among Us”), whose theatrical release is scheduled for 2023, is produced in Morocco by Dounia Benjelloun (Dounia Production) and Jiango Film and it is supported by the Moroccan Cinema Center. In France, the film is produced by Toufik Ayadi of Srab Film (also producer of the films “Les Miserables” and “Saint Omer”, France’s candidate for the 2023 Oscars) and Margaux Lorier of Wrong Film. It has already been bought by Arte and Canal+.
His screenplay was selected for the Ateliers de l’Atlas at the Marrakech International Film Festival (FIFM), where he won the Arte prize for a project in development.

Her selection in official competition at “Sundance” is a consecration for the Franco-Moroccan director and screenwriter Sofia Alaoui, born in Casablanca and aged 32. The one who was recently named “Arab star of tomorrow” by the prestigious English magazine “Screendaily” is pursuing an original and promising international career.
Remember that the Sundance Film Festival, founded in 1978 and chaired by the director, producer and American actor Robert Redford, promotes an independent cinema marking its difference through committed auteur films made outside the Hollywood system.

Throughout its editions, the festival has revealed directors who have become essential such as Quentin Tarantino, Jim Jarmusch, Joel Coen or Damien Chazelle. The 2022 Oscar for best film had notably been awarded to “Coda”, a Franco-American feature film by Sian Heder, which also passed through the official Sundance competition the previous year.

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