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by Afef Ben Mahmoud, Khalil Benkirane


The dance company "Without Borders" is concluding a Moroccan tour. During the penultimate show in an Atlas Mountains’ town, Aida provokes Hedi, her life and stage partner, who injures her in front of the horrified eyes of the other members of the troupe. They must depart in a hurry to seek urgent medical care and take to the road to meet the only doctor available in the area, in hopes to save the last performance. On the way, to avoid a monkey, the bus goes into a skid and miraculously stops by the side of the road. Without a spare tire, now the troupe is stuck in the forest. Outside, the full moon brightens over a majestic, yet worrying landscape. A road movie journey commences as all members decide to walk through the forest to reach the village, instead of waiting for the driver’s return. Through their journey, the true face of our characters reveals itself. Finally, after a long, arduous night, they reach the doctor’s house in the early morning and the new day hails in a different dynamic in the company.

international title: Backstage
original title: Backstage
country: Morocco, Tunisia, Belgium, France, Qatar, Norway, Saudi Arabia
year: 2023
genre: fiction
directed by: Afef Ben Mahmoud, Khalil Benkirane
film run: 102'
screenplay: Afef Ben Mahmoud
cast: Sondos Belhassen, Afef Ben Mahmoud, Saleh Bakri, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Sofiane Ouissi, Hajiba Fahmy, Ali Thabet, Abdallah Badis, Salima Abdel-Wahab, Nassim Baddag
cinematography by: Benjamin Rufi
film editing: Rawchen Mizouri, Skander Ben Ammar, Afef Ben Mahmoud
art director: Fatma Madani, Redouane Nasserdine
costumes designer: Nezha Dakil, Salima Abdel-Wahab
music: Steve Shehan
producer: Khalil Benkirane, Afef Ben Mahmoud
co-producer: Isabelle Truc, Tania El Khoury, Marie Fuglestein Lægreid, Linda Bolstad Strönen, Ingrid Lill Hogtun
production: Iota Production, Les Films de l’Altaï, DUOfilm AS, Lycia Productions (MA), Mesanges Films (TN), Metafora Production (QA), Film Clinic (SA)

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