Film directors and scholars will debate various aspects of Algerian cinematic history and current production, providing differentiated insights into the country’s film scene in response to pointed questions: If Algerian film is closely associated with the war of independence from 1954 onward, is this a trauma or a source of inspiration for the new generation? Were the first decades of Algerian cinema – before the civil war – a “golden age” and, if so, what would be its legacy? As successful as Assia Djebar, Algeria’s first female director, has been worldwide as a filmmaker and writer, has she actually opened doors for women who have followed? Has the end of the state monopoly improved the situation in the film sector? Is the Islamist period adequately reflected in films? What factors can promote the development of Algerian film, and what is the role of coproductions in this? What impulses are coming from the recent generation of directors who have achieved success in Europe, and what impulses can be expected in the future from today’s emerging filmmakers?
Ahmed Bedjaoui(*1943) The curator of “Algeria after 1954 – Cinematic Reflexions” (*1943) is a professor of film studies at Université 3 in Algiers and heads the Study Center of El Khabar, Algeria’s largest daily newspaper. Ahmed Bedjaoui was a founding member of both the Cinémathèque Algerienne and the Algerian League for Human Rights. He has also served as vice president of the Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean and president of the Algerian Film Fund.
Safinez Bousbia Born in 1983, the Algerian-Irish filmmaker and producer studied architecture and design in Oxford and Dublin. In 2003 in Algiers she learned of the story of the chaabi musicians shown in her award-winning film debut, “El Gusto.” At the 2011 Abu Dhabi Film Festival she received awards including “Best Arab Director.”
Amor Hakkar The director and author, born in Algeria in 1958 and raised in France, made his directorial debut in 1990 with “Apprends-moi à compter jusqu’à l’infini.” Amor Hakkar was both director of and leading actor in “La maison jaune.” His “La Preuve” appeared at the 2013 Dubai International Film Festival.
Karim Moussaoui Born in 1975, the actor and director is a founding member of Chrysalide, one of Algeria’s most important independent film promotion organizations. He has directed a number of short films and acted in “Délice Paloma,” among other films. Karim Moussaoui’s “Les jours d’avant” is a critical examination of the issues of Islamist and state violence in Algeria.
Saïd Ould Khalifa Born in 1951, made his directorial debut in 1991 with the feature-length film “White Shadow.” Prior to that, he worked as a journalist from 1969 to 1989 – first in Algeria, then in France. His feature film “Zabana!” was a candidate for an Oscar nomination in 2013 in the category “Best Foreign Language Film.”