Born in Moroco, Jilali Frehati graduated in literature and sociology. He participated 10 years in the activities of the International Theatre of Paris, as an actor and director and directed 2 short films in the same period. He directed his first feature films: La plage des enfants perdus, then Chevaux de fortune and Tresses. He directe (and also performed) Une brèche dans le mur and Poupées de roseau, writen by his wife, Farida Benlyazid. In 2004, he directed Mémoire en détention that won a Grand prize by the 12th international Mediterranean film festival of Tétouan.