Tunisian Film Beauty and the Dogs to open 7th Malmö Arab Film Festival

The Tunisian drama Beauty and the Dogs by director Kaouther Ben Hania will open the 7th Malmö Arab Film Festival on October 6, 2017. The film has been selected by Un Certain Regard at the 2017 Cannes Festival, and will have its Swedish premiere at MAFF. The opening screening will be held at Cinema Royal in Malmö. Director Kaouther Ben Hania and leading Tunisian actress Mariam Al Ferjani will both be present.

Beauty and the Dogs is a fiction film based on a true story that sheds light on the plight of women in Tunisia. The film follows the story of Myriam, a young Tunisian student who, after visiting a nightclub, gets raped by three policemen. Despite the trauma and pain she experiences as a result, Myriam is adamant that justice will be served, and decides to file a complaint.

Kaouther Ben Hania and her production team will be present in Malmö during the festival, and Beauty and the Dogs will be included in the Official Competition for Feature films.

Kaouther Ben Hania says: “I’m very grateful for the Malmö Arab Film Festival Development Fund, where the production process of my movie Beauty and the Dogs started. It gave me the opportunity to have a Swedish co-producer and to work with such amazing and talented Swedish technicians. Today I’m very honored to come back to this amazing festival to share with its audience the final result of a long working progress and the first Tunisian Swedish coproduction.”

She adds, “Very happy also that my film is chosen to be the opening movie of the festival, it means a lot for me and for all the Arab filmmakers who want to collaborate with Swedish co-producers.”

The Film is a co-production between Cinetelefilms (TN), Tanit Films (FR), Laika Film & Television AB, Chimney and Film i Väst et al. It has received support in Sweden from the Swedish Film Institute, and acquired an initial development grant at Malmö Arab Film Festival in 2015.

Beauty and the Dogs is distributed in Sweden by Folkets Bio and will have its Swedish premiere in the Fall, 2017.

“The film got a fantastic reception in Cannes and we are very proud to have the Swedish distribution,” said Katrina Mathsson from Folkets Bio. “Malmö Arab Film Festival feels like the perfect setting for the film and a unique opportunity for Swedish press to meet both director Kaouther Ben Hania and actress Mariam Al Ferjani who makes an effortless effort.”

The 7th annual Malmö Arab Film Festival will take place from October 6-10, 2017. The festival expects thousands of cinema-goers from Malmö and the region, as well as renowned actors, directors, producers and film professionals representing the year’s greatest films from the Arab world.


Kaouther Ben Hania studied cinema in Tunisia and in Paris at La Fémis and the Sorbonne. ‘Challat of Tunis’, her first feature film, opened the ACID section of the Festival de Cannes in 2014. ‘Zaineb Hates the Snow’ premiered in the Official Selection of the Festival del Film Locarno in 2016, won a Golden Tanit at the Carthage Film Festival, and was named Best Documentary at Cinémed.

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