63rd Cannes Film Festival: Chadian film in official competition


For the first time in over ten years, an African film is selected for the “Palme d'Or” (gold palm). “Un homme qui crie n'est pas un ours qui danse” (“A screaming man”, 2010), from Chadian filmmaker Mahamat-Saleh Haroun competes at the 63rd Cannes Film Festival (12-23 May 2010) official selection, with director Tim Burton as president of the jury.

The CNC (Centre National du Cinéma) and IOF (l'Organisation internationale de la Francophonie) has helped fund this production.

Haroun Mahamat-Salem actually is the first filmmaker in Chad's history to present a feature film in Cannes’ official competition. Born in 1961, Abéché in Chad, the 50-year-old man who studied cinema and journalism in France has lived in France since 1982. Student at the “Conservatoire Libre du Cinéma Français”, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun then turned to journalism and joined the IUT of Bordeaux in 1986. Journalist for the regional press and for a local radio, he released his first short film, “Maral Tanie”, which won a price at the “Vues d'Afrique” Festival, in 1994. He made his first feature film, “Bye Bye Africa”, in 1999. In 2001, he directed “Letter from New York City”, a short film that gets a prize for best video at the 11th African Film Festival in Milan. He has already come to the Croisette to the “Quinzaine des Réalisateurs” back in 2002 with his second feature film “Abouna” which also won best cinematography (image) award at FESPACO. But it is with his third film “Daratt, saison sèche” (Daratt, dry season), Grand Special Jury Prize at the 63rd Venice International Film Festival in 2006 that he became known to the international scene.

“Un homme qui crie” (“A screaming man”) is his fourth feature film. As with his previous film, today’s Chad, plagued by incessant civil war since its independence in the early sixties serves as backdrop for the drama. The title is a quote from the poetry collection Return to My Native Land by Aimé Césaire.

In this new film, we follow sexagenarian Adam, former swimming champion who has to place his son Abdel as a lifeguard in a N'Dajamena palace freshly bought by Chinese people. Unfortunately Abdel is harassed by the government to participate in the "war effort". Without the financial help of his son, Adam sees the near future darkening. The film's title is based on a quotation from the writer Aime Cesaire: "A man who cries is not a dancing bear."

More info:

A Screaming Man

· Directed by: Mahamat Saleh Haroun

· Produced by: Florence Stern

· Written by: Mahamat Saleh Haroun

· Starring: Youssouf Djaoro, Emile Abossolo M'bo , Dioucounda Koma, Djénéba Koné, Hadje Fatime N'Goua

· Music by: Wasis Diop

· Cinematography: Laurent Brunet

· Editing by: Marie-Hélène Dozo

· Studio: Pili Films, Entre Chiens and Loups of Belgium.

· Film location: Filming took place during six weeks on location in Chad, starting 30 November 2009.

· Distributed by: Pyramide

· Release date: 2010

· Running time: 100 minutes

· Country: France, Belgium

· Languages: French, Arabic

· Budget: € 2 million including support from the CNC, OIF and pre-sales to Canal +, Canal Horizons, Ciné Cinéma and TV5MONDE.