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MIDWIVES Sages-Femmes

2023 – DCP – colore – 100’


Direction: Léa Fehner

Screenplay: Léa Fehner, Catherine Paillé

Cinematography: Jacques Girault

Editing: Julien Chigot

Set design: Thomas Grezaud

Original music: José Fehner

Costumes: Marine Galliano

Cast: Khadija Kouyaté (Sofia), Héloïse Janjaud (Louise), Myriem Akheddiou (Bénédicte), Quentin Vernede (Valentin), Tarik Kariouh (Reda), Lucie Mancipoz (Charlotte), Marine Gesbert (Marilyn), Fleur Fitoussi (Capucine), Marushka Jury (Marushka), Toulou Kiki Bilal (Mariam), Simon Roth (Antoine), Richard Le Gall (Grégoire)

Producer: Grégoire Debailly

Production: Geko Films in coproduzione con in coproduction with Arte France

World Sales: Pyramide International



After 5 years learning the profession of midwife, “the most beautiful job in the world”, Louise and Sofia are finally entering working life and taking on huge responsibilities in a world where, at a frenetic pace, they handle with birth, motherhood and sometimes death. Will their vocation resist such a storm?

the director: Léa Fehner

Born 15 October 1981 in France Léa Fehner was raised in the world of big-top touring theater. She went on to study film and screenwriting at France’s National Film School, La Fémis. As a student there, she did two apprenticeships abroad, one at the Film Center of Bamako, and the other in Cambodia with director Rithy Panh. Her first film, Silent Voice, was selected at numerous festivals, notably the 2009 Venice FF and the Deauville American Film Festival. It won the Louis Delluc Prize for best first film and was nominated for a César Award. Her second feature, Les Ogres, garnered a prize at the Festival of Rotterdam in 2016. Since then, she has collaborated on the scripts of several films, including Woman at Sea by Dinara Drukarova, selected at the 2022 San Sebastian Film Festival. Midwives is her third film.

director’s statement

“Twelve years ago, I became a mother and my first child was born with major health issues. Since then, I have spent a lot of time with him and his father in hospitals, which profoundly changed my relationship with that environment. (…) I have always been fascinated, haunted by questions about the collective, the group. In my previous film, Les Ogres, I already tried to immerse viewers in the life of a theatre company. The idea of community is at the core of the cinema I want to make. I think that films can provide us with solutions, with examples on how to pursue this fundamental and increasingly contemporary adventure: being a group. Being a collective. Building together. So, to me, the hospital is one of the best playgrounds. It relies on teamwork to function. Solidarity among the staff is fierce. Relationships are powerful, just like the difficulties to be faced. The staff is constantly exposed to the world, to the other, to the “collective” of patients and their loved ones. It only made sense to try and approach that collectiveness.”



2007 Sauf le silence (short)

2009 Silent Voices

2016 Les Ogres 

2023 Midwives

awards and festivals

2023 Berlinale – Prize of the Ecumenical Jury