TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding


Abou Leila

Amin Sidi-Boumédine, Claire Charles-Gervais, Louise Bellicaud

Algeria, France


Algeria, 1994. The country has been undergoing a wave of violent attacks for two years.
Police officer Lotfi joins his colleague and childhood friend S., discharged for mental disorders, from Algiers into the Sahara Desert. S. is determined to follow the trail of the mysterious Abou Leila, a supposed key figure in the recent bloodshed.
However, it is by getting deeper into the nomadic lands that they will be confronted with their own violence.


The Algerian civil war of the ‘90s claimed thousands of victims and has traumatized the Algerian people as a whole for a long time. This period is essential to me and those of the same generation, because it has constituted an unsurpassable background of our youth.
To understand the foundations of this tragedy, which are also the foundations of the violent events in history, we have to go beyond the particular debates to embrace the root causes of this violence which we got up close to, and which – because of the trauma caused to the people as a whole – contaminated us in one way or another.
"Abou Leila" is not a movie about the Algerian civil war, but it is about the fragility of a man lost in a violent world.

budget, distribution & sales

“Abou Leila” is the debut film by Algerian writer/director Amin Sidi-Boumédine, providing us with a contemporary psychological thriller taking place in an unsettling Sahara. The film is an Algerian/French co-production between Thala Films and In Vivo Films. Thala Films was created in 2010 by Yacine Bouaziz and Fayçal Hammoum; since then, they have produced many TV shows, documentaries and short films (including Amin’s ones) and in 2011 and 2012 they got awarded Best Producer of the Arab World at the Abu Dhabi IFF. “Abou Leila” was selected at Locarno Open Doors in 2015 and at the Cinéfondation Atelier in 2016. The total production budget is estimated at € 1.000.000. In March 2016, we received the support of the CADC and FDATIC, the national public funds in Algeria. In April 2017 we received in France the support of the Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine – Département CharenteMaritime, and the CNC – Aide aux cinémas du monde. The Doha Film Institute is also supporting the project with a production grant. We are planning on starting the shoot in October 2018 in the desert of Sahara and Algiers. We are currently looking for the main positions (Director of Photography, 1st Assistent Director, main cast) and we will scout for locations during the winter until the weather allows it (around February/March). Post-production will take place in France early 2019 for a delivery date estimated to be in spring 2019. In terms of financing, we are currently looking for a French distributor, TV pre-sales and a sales agent (all rights available except for France and Algeria).


Algeria, 1994. Two friends flee the violence of Algiers to embark on a mysterious quest in the desert.
Amin Sidi-Boumédine

Scriptwriter, Film Director

Claire Charles-Gervais


Louise Bellicaud


production notes

original title
Abou Leila

directed by
Amin Sidi-Boumédine

produced byThala Films
Cité 348 Logements, Batiment 25, Local 14, Said Hamdine
16040, Algiers

in co-production with
In Vivo Films - France

total production budget
€ 1.000.000