Amrou Al-Kadhi is the Writer-Director of Layla, a story that explores the conflict between desire and identity. The film stars actor Bilal Hasna who plays Layla, a London drag queen, and actor Louis Greatorex, who plays Max, the love interest. The film premiered at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival.

In today’s episode, No Film School’s GG Hawkins, speaks with Amrou Al-Kadhi, Bilal Hasna, and Louis Greatorex to discuss:

  • The six year process of making the film
  • What it’s like to watch the film multiple times at Sundance
  • Unexpected reactions of the audience
  • How making shorts helped Amrou learn to work on a set
  • The benefits of working with a director who has acting experience
  • Why the best actors hold back in some scenes
  • The reason Amrou encourages actors to play against the lines
  • Why directors should budget for extra rehearsal time
  • The casting process and chemistry read

No Film School's coverage of Sundance 2024 is brought to you by Canon.