release date March 06 2023
Salah Issaad's SOULA nabs Fespaco's Best Film Award
Algerian director Salah Issaad added another trophy to his shelf after he nabbed on March 4th the 2023 Best Film Award at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) for his debut feature film SOULA, raising its tally of international awards to 13.
The film was featured in the FESPACO's Perspectives Competition among 10 other nominees.
The 28th edition of the FESPACO — Africa's biggest film festival — was held from February 25th to March 4th under the theme 'African Cinema and Culture of Peace,' with 170 films vying for the festival's various awards in different categories.
Starring Soula Bahri, Idir Benaibouche, and Franck Yvrai, SOULA follows the story of a single mother cast out by her father, leaving her homeless with her baby. Searching for a safe place to spend the night, Soula finds herself hitchhiking from one car to the next with strangers. After a night of unfortunate events on Algerian roads, Soula tries her best to change her fate. However, fate has other plans.
Written, directed, and produced by Issaad, SOULA is also co-written by Soula Bahri, whose life story inspired the making of the film and who was cast in the lead role.
The film won several accolades including the Black Iris Award for Best Arab Feature-Length Narrative at the third edition of the Amman International Film Festival – Awal Film, the Golden Award for Best Feature Film and a special mention for Soula Bahri at the International Oriental Film Festival of Geneva, the Best Feature Film and Best Actress awards at the Malmo Arab Film Festival in Sweden, Best Film at the Beirut International Women Film Festival, and Best Film at the African Asian Latin American Film Festival in Milan.