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


(more information available at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758799/)



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.