Film - International Independents Filmfest 2023


Directed by Leïla Kilani


Director: Leïla Kilani
Section: International Independents
Country: France
Year: 2022
Language: Arabic
Version: Original version with English subtitles
Cast: Mustafa Shimdat, Bahia Bootia El Oumami, Jaafar Brigui, Ikram Layachi, Ifham Mathet
18+ (no age rating)


An impassioned struggle to preserve a unique bird sanctuary divides an extended family in Morocco in this film with unforgettable visuals.

In the hills of Tangier, in the middle of the forest, stands a dilapidated house: La Mansouria. Lina lives there with her father and her grandmother. The latter wants to pressure the family into accepting an offer that has been made to purchase the property for an exorbitant sum. Lina and her father, however, share a passion for the local bird population, and her father refuses to sell. He would rather his share of the inheritance go to a bird sanctuary. Then a forest fire erupts, raining birds on the forest.

Meet the director


Leïla Kilani

Leïla Kilani was born in Casablanca, Morocco, and dreamed of becoming a clown. She studied economics in Paris, earned a master's degree in Mediterranean history and civilization, and wrote a doctoral thesis at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales. She divides her time between Paris and Tangier. Kilani started out making documentaries: TANGIERS, THE BURNERS' DREAM (2000), ZAD MOULTAKA, PASSAGES (2003), and OUR FORBIDDEN PLACES (2009). ON THE EDGE was her first feature film and was screened at the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs at Cannes in 2011, as well as being broadcast in France and screened at more than 80 international festivals. BIRDLAND is her second feature film.


Screenplay: Leila Kilani
Original Material: Leila Kilani
Director of Photography: Eric Devin
Film Editor: Tina Baz
Composer: Michel Deneuve
Sound: Laurent Malan
Producer: Emmanuel Barrault
Production Company: DKB PRODUCTIONS
Co-Producer: Leila Kilani