The film had its world premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.
Egyptian production house Film Clinic, founded by Mohamed Hefzy, has acquired Animalia, a sci-fi film by French-Moroccan director Sofia Alaoui, for distribution in the Middle East and North Africa, according to a report by Variety.
Animalia took home the Special Jury Award for Creative Vision at Sundance Film Festival 2023.
Film Clinic picked up Animalia from Paris-based sales company Totem Films.
Animalia is lead produced by Margaux Lorier at Paris-based Wrong Films with Toufik Ayadi and Christophe Barral at Srab Films as well as Dounia Benjelloun Mezlan at Casablanca-based Dounia Production. Alaoui also takes a producer credit.
The film follows the story of a pregnant Moroccan woman who gets caught up in an alien invasion. Itto, a young woman from a modest rural background, is slowly adapting to the Moroccan privileged codes of her husband’s family. But when supernatural events put the country in a state of emergency, Itto finds herself separated from her husband and new family. Alone, pregnant and looking for her way back, she finds emancipation.
With a hypnotic visual sensibility, Animalia explores the tension between faith and purpose, eroding myths and challenging class prejudice to expose the ways we are all more connected than we know.
Sofia Alaoui is a French-Moroccan filmmaker, raised between Morocco and China. Featured as one of Screen Daily’s Arab Stars of Tomorrow, she has credits including the short films So What If the Goats Die (Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize 2020, César Awards Best Short Film 2021), followed by The Lake for 20th Century Fox, broadcast on Hulu. Animalia is her feature debut.