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Until the Birds Return

Fall Grant 2015

Karim Moussaoui / Feature Narrative / Algeria, France, Germany, Qatar / 2017 / 110 min / Original Language: Arabic / Interests: Drama


Mourad, a businessman, rose to success in Algeria in the 2000s. Now a new man, he wants to stay away from trouble. When he comes across a fight in which a man’s life is in danger, he decides not to step in or provide assistance. Aisha is done with the past. About to start a new life as a married woman, she starts on the journey toward her new family, accompanied by her father and Jalil, a neighbour. Dahman is a doctor. He too hopes to start over – he wants to marry his cousin, and patiently awaits the promotion that would confirm his social status. Each of these three characters will have to face up to the consequences of their choices.


Karim Moussaoui
Karim Moussaoui, Maud Ameline (Co-Author)
Jaber Debzi, David Thion, Nicole Gerhards
Production Company
Prolégomènes, Les Films Pelléas
Production Company

About the Director

Born in 1975, Karim Moussaoui is an active member of Chrysalis, one of Algeria’s most important independent film associations. Moussaoui has worked on a number of plays and films, among them ‘Paloma Delight’ with Nadir Mokneche. In 2006, he made his first two short films: ‘What We Must Do’, based on Charles Bukowsky’s short story ‘The Copulating Mermaid of Venice’; and ‘Breakfast’. In 2011, his feature film script ‘Till the Swallows Return’ was selected for the Méditalents writing workshop; there he met Virginie Legeay, with whom he co-wrote the screenplay for ‘Les Jours d’avant’. ‘Until the Birds Return’ was developed during the Cinéfondation’s Résidence du Festival de Cannes between October, 2014 and February, 2015.

Awards and Festival History


Cannes Film Festival 2017, Un Certain Regard (WP)
Sarajevo Film Festival 2017, SFF Partner Presents


Wihr d’Or for the Best Film, Best Filmmaker (Karim Moussaoui) and Meilleur espoir, Oran Arab FF 2017
Press Award, Festival du film arabe de Fameck 2017
Best Editing Award, Carthage FF 2017
Best Debut Film, Cérémonie des Lumières 2018


  • Director

    Karim Moussaoui

  • Main Contact

    Jaber Debzi

    Les films de l'alambic

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