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O My Body!

Fall Grant 2012 - Post-Production Stage

Laurent Aït Benalla / Feature Documentary / France, Qatar, Morocco / 2012 / 70 min / Colour / Original Language: Arabic, French / Interests: Documentary, Youth


Seeking to bridge Mediterranean cultures, choreographer Abou Lagraa and his wife, dancer Nawal Lagraa, are establishing Algeria’s first contemporary dance academy. For the inaugural performance of the choreographer’s new work, ‘Nya’, the Lagraas attract a unique group of 10 male street dancers with no qualifications. On the eve of the world premiere of ‘Nya’ at the National Theatre in Algiers, ‘O My Body!’ traces the evolution of the work and the development of the dance troupe. A cinéma-vérité style brings an intimacy to the experiences of the men as they discover new body language and fresh ways to express themselves. They started dancing to hip hop in the streets; now, they go through difficult and rigorous training to bring their skills to the level required to appear on the international stage for the first time. An inspiring backstage look at the realisation of a unique dream.

Official Film Website


Laurent Aït Benalla
Laurent Aït Benalla
Laurent Aït Benalla, Nora Martirosyan

About the Director

Laurent Aït Benalla was born in 1976 to a Moroccan father and a French mother. At 17, he spent a year in Russia and went on to study film theory and Russian at the University of Montpellier, where he obtained a Masters degree. He started working as cameraman and sound operator, then directed several medium-length documentaries, including ‘The Girls of the Moon’ (2003), ‘Marcel Hanoun chemin faisant’ (2010), ‘English Suite’ (2011) screened on television and at festivals. ‘O My Body!’, his first feature-length film, received a grant from the Doha Film Institute.

Awards and Festival History


Doha Tribeca Film Festival 2012, in Arab Feature Film Competition (Qatar)
Festival of African, Asian, Latin American Cinema Milan 2013, Windows on the World Documentary Competition (Italy)


Won Best Documentary Prize 2013, Festival of African, Asian, Latin American Cinema Milan (Italy)


  • Main Contact

    Laurent Aït Benalla

    +33 6 23 54 48 85

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