Born in Geneva to a Swiss mother and a Moroccan father, Halima grew up enjoying pursuits as diverse as training horses and being a bodyguard for visiting Saudi princesses. She moved to Montreal in 1998 to study political science and film production at Concordia University. Joining EyeSteelFilm in 2005, she rapidly gained all sorts of indie filmmaking credits, including: Guerrilla Event Co-ordinator (Rip! A Remix Manifesto, 2008), Chief Political Strategist (Punk the Vote, 2006), grassroots theatrical distributor (Up the Yangtze, 2007; Last Train Home, 2009) and producer (Les Tickets, 2010). The only credit eluding her was the coveted "Writer/Director". So in 2008, she entered a scriptwriting contest. Winning the contest allowed her to write, produce and direct her first film: Mokhtar. The film was shot on super-16 in the remote countryside of Morocco near Agadir, starring local villagers, many goats, and an owl. Of all the cast, only the owl was trained as an actor.