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PRODUCTION / FUNDING France / Germany / Belgium

Shooting under way on Mareike Engelhardt’s Rabia

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- Megan Northam and Lubna Azabal lead the cast of the director’s first feature, produced by Films Grand Huit and sold by Kinology

Shooting under way on Mareike Engelhardt’s Rabia
Actresses Megan Northam and Lubna Azabal

The first clapperboard slammed today on Rabia, the debut feature film by Mareike Engelhardt, who attended La Fémis’ screenwriting workshop and already has three earlier shorts under her belt, including Nos Lions (presented in Palm Springs, among other events).

Leading the cast are Megan Northam (much remarked upon in The Passengers of the Night [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mikhaël Hers
film profile
]
, Robust [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Constance Meyer
film profile
]
and Spare Keys [+see also:
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trailer
film profile
]
, as well as in the series Notre-Dame) and Belgium’s Lubna Azabal (the winner of the 2012, 2015 and 2019 Best Actress Magritte, and nominated a further three times, including in 2020 for Tel Aviv on Fire [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sameh Zoabi
film profile
]
and in 2022 for Adam [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
; seen this year in The Blue Caftan [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Rebel [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fal…
film profile
]
and For My Country [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Rachid Hami
film profile
]
). Starring alongside them are Natacha Krief, Germany’s Léna Lauzemis, Klara and Maria Wöedermann, Christine Gautier and Andranic Manet (nominated for the 2019 Revelation Lumière Award courtesy of A Paris Education [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jean-Paul Civeyrac
film profile
]
, and at his absolute best in the series Reign Supreme [+see also:
series review
interview: Olivier Wotling
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]
).

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Written by Mareike Engelhardt in collaboration with Samuel Doux (notably the co-author of The Prayer [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Cédric Kahn
film profile
]
and Arthur Rambo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Laurent Cantet
film profile
]
), the story revolves around Rabia, a young 19-year-old French woman who has set off to a country at war and who finds herself trapped in a house full of women with a number of other young arrivals from all corners of the globe. In order to survive, she becomes an assistant to the director, Madame, who exerts a powerful fascination over Rabia. Their master-slave relationship drives Rabia to go beyond the limits of her convictions, until she can no longer bear the monster the system is turning her into…

Rabia is produced by Lionel Massol and Pauline Seigland for French firm Films Grand Huit, in co-production with Arte France Cinéma, as well as by Germany’s Starhaus Production (Wasiliki Bleser) and Belgium’s Kwassa Films (Annabella Nezri). Pre-purchased by Arte France, Canal+, Ciné+ and RTBF, the feature film also benefits from the support of the CNC and the FFA (by way of the Mini French-German Co-Production Treaty), the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, the Dordogne department, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, the Bavaria region and the SOFICA companies Cofimage and La Banque Postale Image. In 2019, the project walked away with the International Arte Kino Award at the Les Arcs Film Festival.

Filming is set to continue until 16 January, with five weeks planned in the Dordogne and one in Jordan (with Rula Nasser heading up executive production on behalf of The Imaginarium Film, who recently worked on Holy Spider [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ali Abbasi
film profile
]
and Rebel). Photography is entrusted to Agnès Godard (the recipient of four César nominations and one trophy in 2001) and editing to Mathilde Van de Moortel (awarded the 2016 César for Mustang [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Deniz Gamze Ergüven
film profile
]
and recently well received via Full Time [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Eric Gravel
film profile
]
). The film’s French release will be steered by Memento Distribution, while international sales fall to Kinology.

For the record, Films Grand Huit are currently post-producing Disco Boy by Italy’s Giacomo Abbruzzese (read our article) and Mi Bestia by Colombia’s Camila Beltran (news). They’re also set to shoot Jonathan Millet’s Les Fantômes in the spring (news).

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

(Translated from French)

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