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TRENDSETTERS: AOUATEFE LAHMANI - an interview

A series about young Moroccans, born and raised outside Morocco, connecting back to their roots! Setting a trend.  
We are curious about them, about their life choices and about the role model they are.   
                    
expat interview Aouatefe Lahmani

An interview with:

Aouatefe Lahmani - actress and film director who lives between Paris and Marrakech

                    
article by Marlène Pauly more articles by Marlène HERE
English only

 

Tell us a bit about yourself 

I was born in Besançon, grew up in Alsace, studied theatre in Paris.  I was raised by A mother of Meknes and lived in Spain, Portugal and Morocco ... 
In short  I am a citizen of the world with heaven as a roof.
Coming from a modest single-parent family and a neighbourhood called 'sensitive' in France.  A girl of immigrants in France and a zmégria (Moroccan living in France) in Morocco ,WITH an accent...

I was told that I was a little too dreamy and that I had to keep my feet on the ground because for me it 'just' was all about wanting to make films. 
I say 'just', but trying to make a film is hard, both physically and morally.  It leaves traces and indelible scars especially in the heart ... 


In spite of it all I decided to make cinema, to be an actress and even be a little crazy.  I realise this too.  Remaining proud of my roots and without ever forgetting where I come from, my origins, my principles, my values.   ​​These are my greatest gifts.  

This choice in life, I think, saved me, my destiny.  The choice to be an actress.
The choice to live MY life.  To live, period!
 

On the other hand, it feels there was no other option,  there was the urge inside me all the time.  And this journey has made me who I am today.
 

What was it that made you decide to connect back to your roots?

Moroccan film! It made me come to Morocco and return to my origins.
It was after participating in the Marrakech film festival 4 years ago, where I met cinema professionals who convinced me that they were looking for profiles like mine.  To make it short, I took my suitcases, I put them in the car and I took the road to Marrakech.  
With great enthusiasm, passion and hope.
 

What did you learn by moving and living in Morocco.  Something that you would love to see, experience more of in the country of your childhood.

The most important thing I learned when I came to Morocco is on a personal level.  I learned a lot about myself and my identity.  As I said I am considered an immigrant in France and a 'Zmégria' in Morocco and I did not  expected nor realised this before.  I wrote a web series called "Zmégria" and I hope to turn the pilot in Morocco soon, inchallah.
 
I learned to understand the language, the culture, the customs and the songs with more depth.

What I became aware of in Morocco and what I want to see more in France is Moroccan cinema, the talented Moroccan cinema, I want to see Moroccan films in theaters in France, Moroccan actors in French films, because there is so much talent in Morocco.

What is the most important life experience from the country you grew up that you wished you could share in Morocco.

In France I studied theatre, French language, culture, cinema.  I was born and I grew up in France, I'm built and forged in France.
What I want to share in Morocco is more access to culture and cinemas.  I wish it to become part of every day life.
  
 

How and where do you see your future, both professional and private.

I see myself making movies, found a family, make my loved ones proud of me and do humanitarian projects  between Morocco and France.



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