DUBAI: This year is shaping up to be a busy one for Algerian French actress Lyna Khoudri.
The 29-year-old is set to star in French Algerian director Mounia Meddour’s new drama “Houria,” a project reuniting the pair following the award-winning film “Papicha.”
Meddour’s feature debut “Papicha” made history in France by becoming the French box office’s most successful African movie directed by a woman and won the Cesar award for best first film.
For her role in the flick, Khoudri took the Orizzonti prize for best actress at the 74th Venice Film Festival and was nominated in the Cesar Awards’ most promising actress category.
In “Houria,” Khoudri takes on the role of a gifted ballerina making her living as a cleaner who experiences trauma, meets other women in a similar state, and finds a creative outlet to heal. The drama, set in Algeria, will tell a modern story of strong-willed women on their paths to find strength, bond together, liberate themselves, and follow passions.
The feature will be Meddour’s second Algerian women-driven film — she also co-wrote the screenplay — and will star Amira Hilda Douaouda, Khoudri’s “Papicha” co-star, and Rachida Brakni.
Khoudri is part of an ever-growing list of Arab stars working their way up the Hollywood ladder and most recently appeared in the period drama “La Place D’Une Autre” and “Haute Couture.”
She has also landed major roles in other films, notably Wes Anderson’s 2021 comedy “The French Dispatch,” where she played a student activist alongside a star-studded cast that included Timothee Chalamet, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson, and Adrien Brody.
She is also set to appear in a new two-part adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ classic French novel “The Three Musketeers,” in which she will star opposite Francois Civil as his love interest Constance D’Artagnan, formerly Bonacieux. In addition, Khoudri is shooting “Novembre,” a Cedric Jimenez-directed thriller about the French anti-terrorism services during the hunt for suspects after the 2015 Paris attacks.
She has also appeared in the mini-series “Savages,” “Blood on the Docks,” and “Gagarine.”