Whatever Lola Wants (Morocco: 2007)


Nabil Ayouch

Cast list

Assaad Bouab... Zack
Carmen Lebbos... Ismahan
Hichem Rostom... Nasser
Achmed Akkabi... Yussef
Nadim Sawalha... Adham
Abdelkader Lofti... Choukri
Ioana Alfonso... Student/Dancer
Milia Ayache... Yasmine
Ahmed Boulane... Sleazy man
Jennica Carmona... Postal Worker
Marilyn Dobrin... Postal Worker
Mariam Fakhr Eddine... Mrs. Aida
Abdellatif Khamouli... Ramses Club Owner
Monique Lea Gall... Dancer
David Meanti... Giorgia’s waiter #1
Vincent Ortega... Dancer
Laura Ramsey... Lola
Candice Renee... Dancer
Roz Ryan... Postal Worker
Hend Sabri... Fayza the singer
Adam Sietz... Postal Worker



Nabil Ayouch
Jane Hawksley
Nathalie Saugeon


Allen Bain (producer: New York)
Jake Eberts (producer)
Segolene Fleury-Slimane (post-producer)
Léonard Glowinski (associate producer)
Darren Goldberg (producer: New York)
Pierre Grunstein (executive producer)
Hicham Kadiri (co-producer: New York)
Frantz Richard (line producer)
Rebecca Rivo (line producer)
Jesse Scolara (producer: New York)

Music: Krishna Levy

Cinematography: Vincent Mathias

Film Editing: Hervé de Luze


Donna DeSeta
Mindy Marin

Production Design: Pierre-François Limbosch

Art Direction: Hamed Hemdan

Set Direction: Hind Ghazali


Lola, a postal worker from New York, has dreams of becoming an oriental dancer. After performing at a local restaurant, her dancing attracts the attention of Zack, an Egyptian man whom she falls for and follows to Egypt. Lola, however, is crushed when she finds out that Zack is to marry a woman of his family’s choosing. Consequently, she decides to pursue her love of dancing and convinces a retired dancing star—a woman who quit dancing due to a scandal involving a mysterious lover—to teach her. As Lola learns under the dancer Ismahan, they become good friends and gradually Lola excels into a dancer of professional caliber. Lola’s dancing soon attracts the attention of Nasser, a famous impresario, and she gets the opportunity to dance in prestigious places and at popular events. She soon discovers, furthermore, that Nasser is Ismahan’s former lover. As her dancing career blossoms, Lola works to reunite Nasser and Ismahan before returning to New York to share her newly acquired art to her fellow Americans.


Lee Marshall, “Whatever Lola Wants.” Screen Daily (online film magazine)

Tonya Plank, “Inauthenticity Reigns Supreme in ‘Whatever Lola Wants’ at the Tribeca Film Festival.” Exploredance.com (online magazine)

Alissa Simon, “Review: ‘Whatever Lola Wants.’” Variety (entertainment magazine)

Academic Writing:

Screening Morocco: Contemporary Depictions in Film of a Changing Society by Valerie Orlando. Project MUSE Database, (2011), pp. 19-70.

Arrows of Desire: Dance and Power in Transitional Cinema by May Telmissany. Journal of Muslims Worlds and Mediterranean, No. 134 (December 2013), pp. 157-169.