Mounia Meddour is set to reunite with her “Papicha” leading lady. Lyna Khoudri will star in the writer-director’s next feature, “Houria,” a drama set in Algeria. Variety broke the news.
“Houria” sees Khoudri, whose upcoming slate includes “The French Dispatch,” playing a young woman who “is passionate about ballet dancing and experiences a trauma. Following this personal tragedy, she meets other women who have experienced similar situations and finds a creative way to pursue her passion,” the source details.
The film will co-star another “Papicha” actress, Amira Hilda Douaouda, and Rachida Brakni (“Baron Noir”).
“Like ‘Papicha,’ ‘Houria’ will tell the story of strong-willed women on their paths to resilience and emancipation which are themes that drive me, both in my life and in my work,” said Meddour, who is currently serving on the jury of Un Certain Regard at Cannes. She added, “‘Papicha’ was a film about what I witnessed in Algeria, growing up in the 1990s, and ‘Houria’ is a pure fiction but it’s equally political because it unfolds in today’s Algeria where the society has been torn by civic unrest.” The filmmaker emphasized that “Horia” will “show how women can bond together to liberate themselves and pursue their passion.”
The source notes that “‘Papicha’ made history in France by becoming the most successful African film directed by a woman at the French box office.” The winner of the Cesar award for best first film, “Papicha” made its world premiere at Cannes 2019. The drama is set during the Algerian Civil War and tells the story of friends who make money by designing and making clothes, then selling them to “papichas,” or pretty girls, at the local club. Algeria submitted “Papicha” as its pick in the Best International Feature Film category at the Oscars.