22.05.2024 UNIFRANCE, CANNES #cinema


New faces of French cinema – Sofiane Zermani

Meet the new faces of French cinema. Unifrance’s 10 to Watch were selected by international journalists after making a name for themselves at major international festivals in 2023 before breaking out on screens around the world in 2024. Rebecca Leffler met them in Cannes to learn WHO they are and WHAT they’re up to in Cannes and beyond.


Sofiane Zermani is known as Fianso, one of the most famous rap stars in France, but has broken out as an actor starring in films from Netflix’s No Limit to auteur festival films like Helena Klotz’s Spirit of Ecstasy and Mehdi Fikri’s After the Fire. Next up, he’ll hit the big screen for Hassan Guerrar’s Barbès d’Or, Little Algerie and Manele Labidi’s Queen Mom.

“Goodfellas really marked me as a child. It made me want to be a gangster”

WHO are you?

Sofiane Zermani:

I’m Sofiane Zermani. I’m an actor and producer. And sometimes I sing.

Sofiane Zermani

WHO inspires you?

Sofiane Zermani:

Souheila Yacoub. And also Robert De Niro.

WHO have you seen in Cannes?

Sofiane Zermani:

Cate Blanchett. I love this woman for her charisma, her political commitment, her class and her career.

WHO do you dream of seeing in Cannes?

Sofiane Zermani:

Martin Scorsese.

WHAT are you doing in Cannes?

Sofiane Zermani:

I’m here for the 10 to Watch and I hosted a masterclass at the Directors’ Fortnight. I’ve also been spending a lot of time at Algeria’s Pavilion in the international village.

WHAT is your best Cannes memory?

Sofiane Zermani:

Giving a masterclass for Directors’ Fortnight with young people from the region, it was incredible to spend time with them.

WHAT is your next project ?

Sofiane Zermani:

Barbes, Little Algerie comes out on October 16 in France. And I’m shooting a series for Netflix with Pio Marmaï.

WHAT is your favorite film of all time?

Sofiane Zermani:

Goodfellas. It really marked me as a child. It made me want to be a gangster. In French, it’s called Les Affranchis and my music label is called Affranchis Music.

WHAT is your favorite French film of the year?

Sofiane Zermani:

Thomas Cailley’s Animal Kingdom.


Interview by Rebecca Leffler

Photos by Paul Blind for SAY WHO

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