The Jury particularly appreciated the link established between classical Arabic poetry which is bold and largely forgotten today, and the young Arab generation in search of its identity.
A TALE OF LOVE AND DESIRE is currently commercially released at Zawya Cinema, following its successful screenings at the 5th Cairo Cinema Days, which is held at Zawya Cinema, as well.
Zawya marks the film’s fifth host, where it previously had a commercial tour, screening in Morocco, Mauritania, Tunisia, and, most recently, at Cinema Akil in UAE.
On both the Arab and international stages, A TALE OF LOVE AND DESIRE has received significant critical acclaim, with Amber Wilkinson writing in the Eye For Film website saying, "A Tale of Love and Desire is a film that celebrates the joy and fears associated with youthful lust, while exploring the internal cultural conflict, without making it feel tacky or like a diatribe."
While the film critic Enas Haqqi praised the film in an article on Raseef22, saying, "Leyla Bouzid handles her picture with compassion and grace, particularly in the scenes where the hero and heroine interact."
A TALE OF LOVE AND DESIRElanded its world premiere at Cannes’ International Critics' Week. Moreover, it won the Best Actor award and the Diamond Valois award at Angoulême Francophone Film Festival.
Besides, it received the Jury Prize for Best First and Second Film at the Medfilm Film Festival in Rome, and the Bronze award at Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou.
The film also was featured in the official competition of Carthage Film Festival (JCC) in Tunisia and was screened at more than 20 international festivals, includingCairo International Film Festival (CIFF), andToronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Zurich Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Tuebingen French Film Festival, Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou, Filmfest Hamburg, Schlingel Youth Film Festival, Colcoa French Film Festival, Festival Varilux de Cinema Français, and Festival Film Franco Arab.
The film follows the story of Ahmed, an 18-year-old French teenager of Algerian origin who meets Farah, a young Tunisian girl, and falls head over heels in love with her. While discovering a collection of sensual and erotic Arab literature, Ahmed tries to resist his desire towards Farah.
Written and directed by Leyla Bouzid, A TALE OF LOVE AND DESIRE stars Sami Outalbali, Zbeida Belhajamor, Samir Elhakim, Diong-Kéba Tacu, and Aurélia Petit, and is produced by Blue Monday Productions and Pyramide International.
MAD Solutions handles the film’s distribution across the Arab world, whilePyramide International handles the film’s worldwide distribution.
Born and raised in Tunisia, director Leyla Bouzid went to Paris in 2003 to study French literature at the Sorbonne, where she joined La Fémis’ Directing department. After working on several award-winning short films, Leyla directed her debut feature, As I Open my Eyes (a.k.a. a Peine J'ouvre les Yeux), which was screened at the72nd Venice International Film Festival, before winning more than forty international awards and achieving success during its simultaneous theatrical release in France and Tunisia.
A Tale of Love and Desire is her second feature film. It world premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and was selected at prestigious film festivals.