Shooting under way on Mareike Engelhardt’s RABIA

The first clapperboard slammed today on RABIA, the debut feature film by Mareike Engelhardt, who attended La Fémis’ screenwriting workshop and already has three earlier shorts under her belt, including "Nos Lions" (presented in Palm Springs, among other events).

Leading the cast are Megan Northam (much remarked upon in "The Passengers of the Night", "Robust" and "Spare Keys", as well as in the series "Notre-Dame") and Belgium’s Lubna Azabal (the winner of the 2012, 2015 and 2019 Best Actress Magritte, seen this year in "The Blue Caftan", "Rebel" and "For My Country"). Starring alongside them are Natacha Krief, Germany’s Lena Lauzemis, Klara and Maria Wördemann, Christine Gautier and Andranic Manet.
Written by Mareike Engelhardt in collaboration with Samuel Doux, the story revolves around Rabia, a young 19-year-old French woman who has set off to a country at war and who finds herself trapped in a house full of women with a number of other young arrivals from all corners of the globe. In order to survive, she becomes an assistant to the director, Madame, who exerts a powerful fascination over Rabia. Their master-slave relationship drives Rabia to go beyond the limits of her convictions, until she can no longer bear the monster the system is turning her into…

RABIA is produced by Lionel Massol and Pauline Seigland for French firm Films Grand Huit, in co-production with Arte France Cinéma, as well as by Germany’s Starhaus Filmproduktion (Wasiliki Bleser) and Belgium’s Kwassa Films (Annabella Nezri). Pre-purchased by Arte France, Canal+, Ciné+ and RTBF, the feature film also benefits from the support of the CNC and the FFA (by way of the Mini French-German Co-Production Treaty), the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, the Dordogne department, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, the Bavarian Film Fund and the SOFICA companies Cofimage and La Banque Postale Image. In 2019, the project walked away with the International Arte Kino Award at the Les Arcs Film Festival.

Filming is set to continue until 16 January, with five weeks planned in the Dordogne and one in Jordan . Photography is entrusted to Agnès Godard (the recipient of four César nominations and one trophy in 2001) and editing to Mathilde Van de Moortel (awarded the 2016 César for "Mustang"). The film’s French release will be steered by Memento Distribution, while international sales fall to Kinology.
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