The Tunisian ministry of culture has confirmed that Moufida Tlatli, a legend in the film-production industry in the Arab World has passed on Sunday 7th February 2021.
The Tunisian is hailed as the first Arab woman to direct a feature film, a remarkable feat in a society that had thrown women at the backseat of productive work before the turn of the 21st century.
Moufida Tlatli was born in 1947 in Sidi Bou Said, a suburb in the Tunisian capital, Tunis. By 1968, the iron lady had flown to France where she attended the Institute des hates études cinématographiques and graduated. She then returned to her native Tunisia where she took her shot at film editing and successfully landed the gigs for different Tunisian films.
In 1994, Tlatli made her breakthrough as a director when she directed her first featured-film The Silences of the Palaces which raked up several local and international awards including the Cannes Film Festival’s Golden Camera, and the Toronto Film Festival’s International Critics’ Award.
The groundbreaking film also scooped the Carthage Film Festival’s Golden Tanit, the Istanbul International Film Festival’s Golden Tulip before climaxing with the prestigious British Film Institute’s Sunderland Trophy.
One would say after the success of The Silences of the Palaces, for Tlatli, the rest was history as her second film, The Season of Men an engaging family drama,was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival. She went on to work on another successful project Nadia et Sarra, in 2004.
Moufida’s expertise was summoned in 2011 after the overthrow of Tunisian strongman HE Zine El Abidine Ben Ali as she was appointed Minister of Culture in the provisional government.
She on record paying homage to her philosophy teacher who helped her discover her love for cinema.
May her soul in rest in peace.