With the international feature film race heating up, Algeria’s official entry “Papicha” has already beaten the odds of becoming the most successful African film directed by a woman at the French box office.
Mounia Meddour’s debut feature, “Papicha” has grossed an estimated 1.9 million euros from more than 250,000 tickets since its Oct. 9 release in France and it’s still playing in over 50 screens. In comparison with Mati Diop’s “Atlantique,” which represents Senegal in this year’s Oscar race, “Papicha” grossed almost four times more! Another African film directed by a woman, Wanuri Kahiu’s “Rafiki” which bowed at Cannes in 2018, sold just 40,000 tickets in France.
Since world premiere in Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival, “Papicha” has also won 24 prizes, including best Arab film at El Gouna festival; and it recently received two Revelations nominations from the Cesar Awards (France’s equivalent to the Oscars) for its leading actors Lyna Khoudri and Shirine Boutella, on par with “Les Miserables,” France’s Oscar entry, and “Atlantique.”
Set in Algiers in the 1990s, “Papicha” follows powerful young women who refuse to bow down to fundamentalism and reject the new bans imposed by the radical Islamists as the women plan to put on a fashion show.
You can read more on Variety.