Dance of Outlaws

Dance of Outlaws is the story of unusual modern-day outlaws to whom the society doesn't give any possibility to earn a living in a respectable way, so they work as wedding dancers. They are Moroccan girls from poor families with little education; rape victims, abandoned child brides, daughters of prostitutes who have been struck out from the official family register and live on the dangerous fringes of the society.

Hind, 22, is the daughter of a drug-dealer who became dancer and prostitute after being raped and consequently kicked out of her home when she was 14. She lives with a drug addict, petty criminal boyfriend in a shack with no electricity, toilet, running water or proper windows. Officially Hind doesn’t exist; she cannot get her birth certificate and so she can’t apply for identification papers. Yet she is dreaming of a better future; marrying her boyfriend, getting back at least one of her children that she has had to give away, getting her papers and finding a job and a proper home. As she finally gets engaged, her boyfriend is arrested and sent to prison for twenty years. Soon after Bilal is sentenced, Hind realises she is pregnant with her third child.

Dance of Outlaws follows the lives of Hind and her friends - dancers in the same group, Leila and Ahlam for more than a year. In addition to financial insecurity and constant threat of being arrested, they each live with their own struggles. Through the women's stories we get a perspective of traditional Moroccan arranged marriages and the family power struggles.

Hind will be our guide into the reality of these women with no identity and no virginity in a society deeply rooted in patriarchal traditions. She is our window to the reality of life without identity and to the strife that anyone can relate to, of not losing one's dreams and aspirations even in the darkest moments.


Original name Dance of Outlaws
Original language Arabic
Subtitles English
Genre Documentary
Production year 2012
Production country Finland/Norway
Running time 82 min


Direction Mohamed El Aboudi (also scriptwriter)
Performers "Hind" eli Hanan, Bilal, Bouchra, Leila, Noura, Lamia, Fatima, Hasna, Frima, Ghizlane, Asia, Halima, Abderrahim El Hawary, Hamid El Hawwat
Cinematography Marita Hällfors
Sound recording Anne Tolkkinen, Pirkko Tiltinen
Sound design Martti Turunen
Composer Juuso Hannukainen, Mikko Rajala
Editing Erik Andersson
Producer Venla Hellstedt
Executive producer Pertti Veijalainen
Executive producer (first stage) Timo Korhonen
Collaboration producer Torstein Grude, Piraya Film A/S
2:nd camera Aziz El Attar
Organizer Khalld Laaboudi
Assistant editor Kalle Sipilä
Production Secretary Arvid Abrahamsen , Norway team
Production trainee Olli Vuokko
Color grading Timo Luomanen
Bookkeeping Maciej Zylski, Rantalainen Oy
Auditor Risto Ekholm, Audit Polar
Law consult Pia Naarajärvi, Beach House Consulting
Translations Elizabeth Marschan
IT-engineer Odd Brendtzaegg, Norway team

Screenings and awards


  • 30.01.2019 Yle Teema
  • 28.09.2013 YLE TV1 (Documentary project)
  • 23.09.2013 YLE TV1 (Documentary project)


  • 01.01.2014 estival du film documentaire de Guelmim, Guelmim, Marokko (Grand prix)
  • 01.01.2014 Festival International du Film d'Amiens Amiens, French
  • 01.01.2014 Festival international du cinéma d'auteur de Rabat Rabat, Marocco
  • 01.01.2014 Anûû-rû âboro - festival international du cinéma des peuples Poindimié, New-Kaledonia (French)
  • 01.01.2014 International Human Rights Film Festival Albania Tirana, Albania
  • 01.01.2014 Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival Pärnu, Estonia
  • 01.01.2014 DOK.fest München, Germany
  • 01.01.2014 Panorama des cinémas du Maghreb et du Moyen-Orient Paris, French
  • 01.01.2014 Festival du film documentaire de Guelmim Guelmim, Marocco
  • 01.01.2014 Movies that Matter Film Festival Haag, Nederlands
  • 17.06.2013 Primed
  • 06.03.2013 Tampere Film Festival
  • 06.02.2013 Festival National du film, Tangier, Marocco
  • 25.01.2013 FIPA, Biarritz, France
  • 01.01.2013 Maghreb Cultural Film Festival, Alger
  • 01.01.2013 Seminci - Semana Internacional de Cine de Valladolid Valladolid, Spain
  • 01.01.2013 Malmö Arab Film Festival Malmö, Sweden
  • 01.01.2013 Blue Sea Film Festival Rauma, Finland
  • 01.01.2013 Dokufest - International Documentary and Short Film Festival Prizren, Kosovo
  • 01.01.2013 Aflam du Sud - Festival du cinéma arabe Bryssel, Belgium
  • 01.01.2013 Festival du Film des Rives de la Méditerranée Puteaux, French
  • 01.01.2013 Sodankylä Film Festival, Finland
  • 01.01.2013 Martil Film Festival Martil, Marokko
  • 01.01.2013 Planete+ Doc Film Festival / Competition - Warsaw, Puola
  • 01.01.2013 Festival Cinéma Arabe Amsterdam, Nederlands
  • 01.01.2013 FIDADOC festival international de documentaire de Agadir, Marokko
  • 01.01.2013 Maghreb Cultural Film Festival, Alger, Algeria 2013: (documentary series grand prize)
  • 01.01.2013 Human Rights DOX. Malmö Arab Film Festival, Malmö, Sweden 2013 (Honorable mention)
  • 01.01.2013 Dokufest - International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Prizren, Kosovo 2013: (Human rights series - grand prize)
  • 01.01.2013 PriMed - Prix International du Documentaire et du Reportage Méditerranéen, Marseille, ( Grand prix France Télévisions "Enjeux Méditerranéens".)
  • 01.01.2013 Martil Film Festival, Martil, Marokko 2013: best director in documentary series Mohamed El Aboudi.
  • 01.01.2013 Festival national du film, Tanger, Marokko 2013 (Main series - jurys honorable mention, Marokko film critic associations honorable mention, movie magazine Cinémags honorable mention )
  • 01.01.2013 Film quality support 2013 (50000€)
  • 01.01.2013 Tampere Film festival, Finland (National competition: Jurys special prize for over 30 min. film 50 000€)
  • 16.12.2012 Dubai Film Festival
  • 06.11.2012 Arhus Filmfestival
  • 01.11.2012 CPH:DOX, competition for best Nordic non-fiction filmmaking
  • 22.09.2012 Nordisk Panorama
  • 21.09.2012 Helsinki International Film Festival
  • 21.09.2012 Love & Anarchy - festival
  • 06.08.2012 Locarno International Film Festival, Semaine de la critique (Premio Zonta Club Locarno -prize)
  • 01.01.2012 Festival del film Locarno, Sveitsi 1012 Premio Zonta Club Locarno palkinto


  • Timo Korhonen, Road Movies Ltd
  • Pertti Veijalainen, Illume Oy
  • Venla Hellstedt


  • Torstein Grude, Piraya Film (NOR)

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