The Little Drummer Girl

Lubna Azabal

Lubna Azabal is a Belgian actress who was born in 1973 in Brussels to a Moroccan 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 Lannoo’s short film J’adore le Cinéma. She performs in English, French, and Arabic. She was raised trilingual (French, Spanish, and Berber). Her most widely known film role is in the 2005 Palestinian political thriller Paradise Now. She appeared in a smaller role in Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies and had a lead part alongside Maggie Gyllenhaal in Hugo Blick’s 2014 BBC TV miniseries The Honourable Woman. Azabal won the Black Pearl Award 2010 at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival for Best Actress for her role in the film Incendies. She also won the Genie Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role at the 31st Genie Awards and the Magritte Award for Best Actress at the 2nd Magritte Awards. She starred opposite Ben Foster in the independent film Here (2011). In 2012, her love for auteur cinema brought her to play Dounia, the main character in the film Goodbye Morocco, directed by Nadir Monèche, which led to a Magritte Award nomination in 2014. In 2015, she won the Magritte Award again, this time for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the movie The Marchers (La Marche), directed by Nabil Ben Yadir. In 2018, she played the role of Leila in the film Sofia, directed by Meryem Benm’Barek. The film, which deals with the social inequalities supported by a patriarchal society, won the best scenario (Un Certain Regard) in the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and the 2018 Angoulême Film Festival. Next year, Azabal will play the role of Tala in the movie Tel Aviv on Fire, directed by Sameh Zoabi. Azabal’s television credits include Nox and The Frozen Dead.