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With her affluent husband and his oppressive family away on a day trip, Itto (Oumaïma Barid) intends to savour some solitude in their opulent home. But when an ominous meteorological event blows in, all of Morocco is plunged into a state of emergency. Forced to evacuate and thrust from her sheltered privilege, the heavily pregnant Itto witnesses increasingly strange phenomenon. Through her efforts to reunite with her husband on the other side of the Atlas Mountains, this sheltered woman is instead reacquainted with the exhilaration of freedom.

Sofia Alaoui refashions tropes from sci-fi flicks and road movies into a debut that defies ready classification. Meticulously crafted and deeply meditative, the film reflects on faith and class (Itto hails from a lower social rung), while delivering shimmering supernatural spectacle. In charting this alienated woman’s odyssey through an increasingly otherworldly and apocalyptic milieu, it marks the arrival of a unique new voice in international cinema.


Special Jury Award, Sundance 2023


Series Media Partner



Oumaïma Barid, Mehdi Dehbi, Fouad Oughaou

Country of Origin





Altered States


In French, Arabic and Berber with English subtitles

Film Contact

At International Village


At The Rio

90 min
Action & Suspense Drama Horror & Sci-Fi Women Directors

Book Tickets

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Margaux Lorier, Toufik Ayadi, Christophe Barral


Sofia Alaoui


Noé Bach

Production Design

Hafid Amly

Original Music

Amine Bouhafa


Sofia Alaoui headshot

Sofia Alaoui

Sofia Alaoui is a French-Moroccan filmmaker, raised between Morocco and China. Featured as one of Screen Daily’s Arab Stars of Tomorrow, she has credits including the short films So What If the Goats Die (Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize 2020, César Awards Best Short Film 2021), followed by The Lake for 20th Century Fox, broadcast on Hulu. Animalia is her feature debut.

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