The movie is inspired by El Iraki’s struggle with PTSD after he survived the 2015 Paris attacks.
Moroccan movie “Zanka Contact” (Alley Contact) by Ismail El Iraki won the Best Feature Film award at the 2021 Luxor African Film Festival (LAFF) in Egypt.
El Iraki’s debut movie is a production of France’s Barney Production, Morocco’s Mont Fleuri Productions, and Belgium’s Velvet Films as a co-producer.
The 120-minute-long film stars Khansa Batma, Ahmed Hammoud, Said Bey, Abderrahmane Oubihem, Mourad Zaoui, and Fatima Attif.
Khansa won the Best Actress award at last year’s Venice International Film Festival for her performance in Zanka Contact.
Zanka Contact is a Moroccan movie that tells the story of a rocker who has lost his voice. He falls in love with Rajaa, an ex-sex worker with a golden voice for whom he composes songs inspired by his nightlife in the dangerous streets of Casablanca. The rock music serves as a backdrop for the film, against which the story’s events unfold.
El Iraki found inspiration for the film from his struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as he survived the November 13, 2015 Paris Bataclan venue attacks.
He explained to American Magazine Variety: “I tried to write a movie specifically about a terrorist attack. But people don’t see it the way I do. What’s more interesting is the time it takes to heal. All the stuff removed from the sensational aspects of the event. The time it takes, the sheer amount of trying and trying again.”
“Unfortunately, there are a lot of things from the Bataclan days, a lot of visions and nightmares exorcised in a movie,” he told the Guardian.
The 10th LAFF took place between 26 and 31 March under the slogan “Ten Years of Imagination.” It honored Africa’s creativity, with Sudanese cinema as a guest of honor.
The festival paid tribute to Morocco’s Azelarab Kaghat, Tunisia’s Hend Sabry, Egyptian director Ali Abdel Khalek, Malian director Cheick Oumar Sissoko, and Egyptian actors Mohye Ismail and Samir Sabry.
Non-profit organization Shabab Foundation organizes Luxor African Film Festival under the auspices of certain Egyptian ministries and with other organizations.