Actress (Brussels, Belgium, 8.15.1973)
Lubna Azabal is a Belgian actress, born 1973 in Brussels to a Moroccan, Berber, father and a Spanish mother. After studying at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, she began a theatrical career in Belgium. In 1997, she took her first film role when Belgian filmmaker Vincent Lannoo chose her to act beside Olivier Gourmet in his short film J’adore le cinéma. She performs in English, French and Arabic. She was raised trilingual (French, Spanish and Berber).
Her first relevant role was that of Mabrouka in co-production Tunisia-France-Belgium Les Siestes grenadine by Tunisian expat in Belgium Mahmoud Ben Mahmoud. After that she was chose by André Techiné to star in his Loin (Far), shot in Morocco and premiered at Venice Film Festival in 2001, and three years in Les Temps qui changent (Changing Times, 2004), alongside Gérard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve. Cherished by independent European and Mediterranean directors such as Nabil Ayouch (Un minute de soleil en moins, 2002), Tony Gatlif (Exils, 2004) and Hany Abu Assad (Paradise Now, 2005), she had her first experience in Hollywood in Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies (2008), and was wordly acclaimed as lead in Canadian/French Incendies, by Denis Villeneuve, nominated as Best Foreign Language Film of the Year. This role has earned her a Genie Award, a Jutra Award, and a Magritte Award as Best Actress.
After playing the role of an Italian expat in France in Gamines (Éléonore Faucher, 2009), Lubna Azabal was hired by Palestinian Hiam Abbass to star in her short Le donne della Vucciria, shot in Palermo, and part of the series The Miu Miu Women’s Tales, a collection of shorts by female directors, to be premiered at Venice Film Festival in 2013. She was chose by Renzo Martinelli to feature in his Italian-Belgian co-production Ustica (2016), a drama on the tragic Ustica massacre occurred on June 27, 1980 and cost 81 lives: she is to play the role of Valja, a chopper pilot who discovers a message in Arabic that will help to clarify the truth on the real causes of the crash occurred to the Itavia aircraft. Ustica, to be released on Spring 2016, features also Morocco-born and Belgian expat Yassine Fadel and Italian-Somali Jonis Bascir.
Le donne della Vucciria (Hiam Abbass, 2013, sf, act), Ustica (Renzo Martinelli, 2016, ff, act)
Frame taken from:
Ustica. Dir. Renzo Martinelli. Martinelli Film Company Int., WFE; in collaborazione con Polar Star Films, Seagull, 2016.
Contributors: Leonardo De Franceschi
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