EN - Layla is an 18-year-old girl, born and raised in Amsterdam. She is smart, witty and stubborn - and of Moroccan descent. During the constant terrorist threats, Layla struggles with the increasing suspicion towards girls with headscarves and boys with beards that she witnesses every day. While her frustration grows, her faith intensifies. Eventually, she joins a group of Muslims who fight to practise Islam. She posts films online depicting the horrors in Syria and Gaza and makes political flyers while also flirting with the charismatic Abdel.

When she and her peace-loving brother are arrested by the police Layla, feeling hurt and isolated in her anger and in conflict with her parents, is left with only one option: to leave home. She chooses marriage with Abdel. After their wedding, they roam the country together, performing ‘missionary work’ and raising money for the good cause. But after they narrowly escape a raid by the Belgian police on a group of young jihadists, they have to flee to the Middle East.


Title Layla M.
Original title Layla M.
Original language Dutch, Arabic, Moroccan
Status Completed
Production Minority Flemish
Category Features
Year 2016


Cast Nora El Koussour, Ilias Addab
Photography Danny Elsen
Editing Dorith Vinken
Sound Joost Roskam
Art director Jorien Sont
Costume Jacqueline Steijlen
Makeup Trudy Buren
Music Can Erdogan

Technical specs

Running time film 98'
Release format HD
Other available formats DCP
Aspect ratio 1:2.39
Sound format 5.1
Colour Colour


Main producer Frans van Gestel, Arnold Heslenfeld, Laurette Schillings
Main production company Topkapi Films (NL)
Supported by the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF)
Production partners Marina Blok - NRT (NL), Dirk Impens - Menuet (BE), Alexander Wadouh - Chromosom Film (DE), Marcos Kantis - Schiwago Film (DE), Rula Nasser - The Imaginarium Films (JO)


2016: Toronto International Film Festival (CA); London BFI Film Festival (UK); Alice Nella Citta (IT); Arabian Nights - Dubai International Film Festival (AE), Hot Topics - Black Nights International Film Festival (EE); Chicago Film Festival (US); Philadelphia Film Festival (US), Marrakech International Film Festival (MA)

Home, Le Ciel Flamand and King of the Belgians to Göteborg

Fien Troch’s Home, Peter Monsaert’s Le Ciel Flamand and King of the Belgians by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth have been invited to the Göteborg International Film Festival (27 January – 6 February). The line-up also includes three co-productions with Flanders and a retrospective of the work of the Dardenne brothers.

Le Ciel FLamandNew Voices, a section showcasing films by upcoming directors in search of new trends, welcomes Monsaert’s Le Ciel Flamand. Home and Brosens and Woodworth’s royal odyssey King of the Belgians are to screen in the Five Continents programme, a collection of films from around the world.

Published on Tuesday 17 January 2017

Wouter Bouvijn pitches debut feature at Les Arcs

Belgian director Wouter Bouvijn has been invited to the Arc 1950 Co-Production Village in Les Arcs where he will pitch his upcoming debut feature Escape. The festival has also announced its full line-up, which includes the animated short Catherine as well as some co-productions with Flanders. As previously announced, Fien Troch’s Home and Brosens and Woodworths’ King of the Belgians will also screen in Les Arcs.

Wouter Bouvijn (c)Titus SimoensOver three days, the Co-Production Village presents a selection of 20 European feature films in development to professionals interested in a financial or production participation. Among those invited this year is Wouter Bouvijn (Crossroads), who is currently preparing his debut feature Escape (fka (F)light).

Published on Wednesday 30 November 2016

Royal visit to Marrakech and Dubai

Continuing its festival tour, King of the Belgians by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth will screen at the Marrakech International Film Festival (2-10 December), where it is in Competition. After that the film goes on to the Dubai International Film Festival (7-14 December), marking its 15th festival selection to date.

King of the BelgiansBrosens and Woodworth’s fourth feature premiered at the Venice Film Festival and has been successfully travelling the international festival circuit ever since. King of the Belgians has already screened in Hamburg, Thessaloniki, Valladolid, Antalya, Sao Paolo, Zagreb and Tallinn. In Marrakech, it will be one of 14 features competing for the festival’s main prize.

Published on Wednesday 30 November 2016

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Last edited on 1 March 2017

Short info

Director Mijke de Jong
Producers Dirk Impens
Writers Jan Eilander, Mijke de Jong

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