The Lebanese-American director Oualid Mouaness is set to write and direct the adaptation of Bilqiss, a novel by Saphia Azzeddine, for the American film-production company Kennedy/Marshall, and Khadija Alami’s K Films.
The project follows a rebellious woman, called Bilqiss, who decides one day to take her life into her own hands as she objects to extremism.
The storyline unfolds between New York and the Middle East, focusing on strong women who challenge their environment and culture and fight extremism.
The novel reflects the author’s anger against the suppression of women in the Middle East while also criticizing the western rush misjudgments of other cultures.
Saphia Azzeddine is a French-Moroccan writer, actress, and screenwriter, who also worked as a journalist. She published her first successful novel, Confidences à Allah in 2005. She wrote and directed the film Mon père est femme de ménage in 2011, an adaptation of her second novel published in 2009.
She released a few novels afterward, leading to the publication of her novel Bilqiss in 2015.
As per Deadline, Oualid Mouaness will direct and write the script of Bilqiss in collaboration with Saphia Azzeddine.
The Kennedy/Marshall Company will produce the project along with K Films, and the project will be shot in the U.S. and at Alami’s Studios in Morocco.
Oualid Mouaness is best known for his feature film, 1982, which starred Nadine Labaki and has started screening in movie theaters in the U.S. as of June 10th.
The film won many awards, namely at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and the Murex D’Or 2021, among others.