Mon 13.11
20:45 - 22:27
Tue 14.11
20:45 - 22:27
Vega 2

Backstage is an experimental and beautiful film about Aida and her dance troupe touring Morocco. An injury during a performance brings out conflicts in the troupe, and leads them in search of a doctor, along the dark road.

Backstage takes us to a dance show where the beauty of the performance is undermined by the conflict that arises between the main dancers, Aida and Hedi. Internal tensions within the dance company impact the show; however, thanks to the professionalism of the performers, the audience does not notice when Aida gets injured. The exciting and rhythmic action on stage is replaced by a slow dynamic behind the scenes.

Aida's injury brings out conflicts in the team as they make their way to the doctor through the dark road. The journey highlights the contrast between the harmonious world dancers convey on stage and the disharmony they live with behind it.

Maka Dolidze


Afef Ben Mahmoud is a Tunisian actress and director with an educational background in business administration. She made her debut as a ballet dancer and then began acting in theatre, television and cinema. She has contributed to up to eleven films, but is known for My Neighbor Hamouda (2004) and Hunting Gazelles (2008). She has also starred under major Tunisian directors, including Nouri Bouzid's Making Of (2006) and more recently in Streams (2021) by Mehdi Hmili, receiving the Best Actress award at the Cairo IFF. Alongside, she created Mésanges Films and produced Bouzid's latest film, The Scarecrows (2019), in which she also plays a leading role. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

After film studies, Khalil Benkirane directed the San Francisco Arab Film Festival and then returned to Morocco to direct his feature documentary The White Thread. He later joined the Doha Film Institute to oversee the Grant program, alongside which he co-produced The Scarecrows by Nouri Bouzids.

This film is part of


Country Morocco, France, Belgium, Qatar, Norway

Year 2023

Director Afef Ben Mahmoud, Khalil Benkirane

Screenplay Afef Ben Mahmoud

Cinematography Manjamin Rufi

Producer Khalil Benkirane, Afef Ben Mahmoud, Isabelle Truc, Tania El Khoury, Marie Fuglestein Lægreid, Linda Bolstad Strønen, Ingrid Lill Høgtun

Cast Sondos Belhassen, Afef Ben Mahmoud, Saleh Bakri, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Sofiane Ouissi, Hajiba Fahmy. Ali Thabet, Abdallah Badis, Salima Abdel-Wahab, Nassim Baddag

Production Company Lycia Productions, Mesanges Film, DUO film, Iota Production

Runtime 1h 42m

Language Arabic

Subtitles English

Genre Drama

Format DCP

Age limit 9

Links IMDb

This film is in competition for the Audience Award.

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