In the past fifteen years the Chad born director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun has been gaining international acclaim. Haroun has been awarded in the prestigious Venice International Film Festival as well as in Cannes (2010). He was at the time the first Chadian director to be attending as well as the first to win in the main competitions.
As a youth, Haroun fled to France with his family because of civil war. He studied film and journalism in France, where he eventually settled in. Twenty years ago Haroun started making short films and documentaries from which the most famous one is the portrait of Sotigui Kouyaté – a take on a Malian actor and raconteur (‘griot’ in Malain). The awe inspiring cast included theatre guru Peter Brook and French scriptwriting legend Jean-Claude Carrière…
With his autobiographical docudrama Bye Bye Africa (1999), Haroun returned to revive film production in his home country. Even though there were no professional actors or film industry, Haroun has been able to produce six feature films. The last 15 years of calm and development had also enabled the government to organize a film school which they assigned to Haroun himself shortly after the director won the Grand Prix at Cannes.
As appealing as the films are they are still factorials about those less fortunate in Central Africa. In his most recent work, A Season in France, Haroun has moved his focus to the plain lives of Central Africans living in his current home country France.
Guest of honor of the Midnight Sun Film festival, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun shows there his movies Bye Bye Africa, Daratt, A screaming Man and A Season in France.