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Fall Grants 2020 - Development Stage

Leïla Artese Benhadj / Feature Documentary / Algeria, France, Italy, Qatar / 80 min / Original Language: Arabic, Tamasheq / Interests: Women, Identity, Creative Documentary, Tradition


‘Targuia’ is the story of Tab, a 16-year-old nomadic girl living in the Sahara in southern Algeria. Like most “targuia” (Tuareg women) of her age, she would like to get married and start a family, but her mother’s death prevented that, leaving Tab in charge of ten brothers and sisters. After the tragic loss, Tab’s father decided to go look for a job in the city but eventually got swallowed into a fast-paced urban way of life. Tab’s childhood best friend is called Asha. At the age of 10, Asha left the desert to settle in the city of Tamanrasset with her parents. Since then, her life has completely changed. She went to school for the first time and discovered technological devices such as computers, laptops, and the internet. Every summer, Asha goes back to her native village in the desert. This year, Tab is looking forward to seeing her best friend again and tells her that several men have come to ask for her hand in marriage. But before becoming a wife, Tab plans on leaving the desert for the first time with Asha’s complicity to look for her father. This journey to an unknown world will change both girls’ destiny.


Leïla Artese Benhadj
Leïla Artese Benhadj
Justin Pechberty & Nabil Bellahsene / Company LES VALSEURS
Production Company
Les Valseurs

About the Director

After studying at the Faculty of Literature, Leila Artese Benhadj went to a school of cinema in Rome. She worked as 1st Assistant Director and editor on Rachid Benhadj's feature films 'Parfums d'Alger' and 'L'Étoile d'Alger'. These first two experiences strengthened her desire to write, direct and edit what became her first short fiction film 'The Queen of the Ants'. She then worked as an AD on Algerian documentaries and eventually decided to write and launch herself into her first documentary feature 'Targuia'.


  • Main Contact

    Nabil Bellahsene


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