An interview with Chadian auteur, an really the country’s best-known filmmaker, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, is one that I hope I’ll one day get, because I have so many questions I’d like to ask him – about his films, cinema of Chad, African cinema at-large, and more.
But, in the meantime, I”ll settle for brief moments like this one, in which Haroun talks about what film/filmmaker inspired him to want to make films (it may not be who you think), using his international recognition to help build a film industry in Chad (specifically, building a film school that he says would compete globally), and meeting Jude Law, who expressed interest in being in one of Haroun’s films. So, don’t be too surprised if we announce an upcoming Haroun film stars or co-stars Law.
And the day after the Oscars, I shoud mention that Chad has submitted just one film for consideration in the entire history of the Academy Award, for Best Foreign Language Film: In 2002, Abouna by Haroun.
He’s currently in post-production on his next work, Grisgris (his follow-up to his 2010 critically-acclaimed drama Un Homme Qui Crie – A Screaming Man). The film written by Saleh-Haroun centers on:
Grisgris, a 25 year old boy with dreams of becoming a dancer despite the fact his leg is paralysed. His dreams are shattered when his uncle falls seriously ill. To save him, he decides to work for petrol smugglers.
The film stars Soulémane Démé, Mariam Monory, Cyril Guei, and Marius Yelolo.
I’m expecting a Cannes 2013 world premiere, where his last film, Un Homme Qui Crie, was a Jury Prize Winner in 2010 – a film that’s streaming on Netflix.
And while he’s been living for decades outside his native Chad, Haroun has remained set on telling stories about Chad.