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Layla M by Mijke de Jong
Layla M

Layla M

Layla (18), a Dutch girl with Moroccan roots, joins a group of radical Muslims. She encounters a world that nurtures her ideas initially, but finally confronts her with an impossible choice.

Layla is an 18-year-old girl, born and raised in Amsterdam. Layla is smart, witty and stubborn – and of Moroccan background. In the times of constant terrorist threat, she struggles with the increasing suspicion towards girls with headscarves and boys with beards that she witnesses every day. While her frustration grows, her faith intensifies. She joins a group of radical Muslims who fight for their practise of Islam. Layla posts films online depicting the horrors in Syria and Gaza and makes political flyers. And she flirts with the charismatic Abdel.
When her peaceful brother and she are arrested by the police, Layla, feeling hurt and isolated in her anger, is left with only one option: to leave home. She chooses marriage, with Abdel. After their wedding, Layla and Abdel roam the country together, perform 'missionary work', and raise money for the good cause. But then they get involved in a shootout between a group of young jihadists and the Belgian police, they have to flee, to the Middle East. Layla encounters a world that nurtures her ideas initially, but finally confronts her with an impossible choice.

90' / DCP / colour

Genre: drama
Original title: LAYLA M
Dir: Mijke de Jong
Prod: Topkapi Films
Co-prod: Menuet (BE), Chromosom Film (DE), Schiwago Film (DE)
Sc: Jan Eilander, Mijke de Jong
D.O.P.: Danny Elsen
Completed: summer 2016
Language: Dutch, English, Arabic
Cast: Nora el Koussour, Ilias Addab

Festivals a.o.:
Toronto International Film Festival - Platform Competition
BFI London Film Festival - Competition
Thessaloniki International Film Festival
AFI Fest - Los Angeles International Film Festival
Belgrade International Film Festival
Chicago International Film Festival
Dubai International Film Festival
Black Movie - Geneva International Independent Film Festival
Ghotenburg International Film Festival
Gijón International Film Festival
Goa International Film Festival of India
Les Arcs European Film Festival
Jeonju International Film Festival
Marrakech International Film Festival
Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival
Alice nella Citta - Rome International Children's Film Festival
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

Mijke de Jong:
a.o. Stop Acting Now (2016, feature), Frailer (2014, feature), Joy (2010, feature) Awards: Golden Calves Best Feature and Best Script Netherlands FF, KATIA'S SISTER (2008, feature) Award: Youth Jury Award Special Mention Locarno IFF, STAGES (2007, feature) Awards: a.o. SIGNIS Special Mention Las Palmas FF, BLUEBIRD (2004, feature) Awards: Crystal Bear Best Feature Berlin IFF, Grand Prix Montreal Int. Children's FF, Young People's Jury Award Sprockets Toronto IFF.


Topkapi Films
Ph: +31 20 303 2494

Sales: Beta Cinema
Ph: +49 89 673 469-828


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