Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Director of Grigris

May 21, 2013


Interview by the ACP Secretariat

Le réalisateur Mahamat Saleh-Haroun sur le tournage de son film Grigris. © Pili Films, Frank Verdier


Director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun © Pili Films, Frank Verdier

Director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun © Pili Films, photo : Frank Verdier

Your last feature length film Un Homme qui crie, winner of the Cannes Jury Prize in 2010, was financed under the ACPFilms Programme. Your new film, Grigris is a beneficiary project of the ACPCultures+ Programme. What does this long term support from the ACP Secretariat and the European Union provide you?

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun : The Support of the ACP Programmes is an important source of capital : it allows me to establish or reinforce my partnership with other production companies. It is the beginning of a South-South cooperation. In addition to this, the support provides structure, as it requires me to train interns in a country where there is no extant training in the field of cinema. Thanks to this assistance, which has strengthened our links with Burkina Faso, Chadian Youths have been able to be recruited and have worked on film shoots in Burkina Faso. It is on-the-job training, the best kind of training in my opinion; you learn by doing. 


The main character of Grisgris is a young paralytic who dreams of becoming a dancer. What message are you trying to send out through this film?

M.-S. Haroun : A message of hope. The idea that nothing is lost when you believe in yourself... That a handicap doesn't have to stop you from trying things, but should be a motivator to stop you from being excluded or left out. A handicap doesn't need to stop us from achieving what we want to achieve.

How do you feel today, knowing that your film is the only African film to be officially selected at Cannes this year ?

M.-S. Haroun : I am quite serene. I think we tried to do what we could. I am sorry that ours is the only African film present at Cannes but this situation is undoubtedly linked to the reality of African cinema; a lack of production inevitably leads to a lack of possible candidates. Nevertheless, I think that the ACP support to the sector brings hope..


World premiere date : May 22nd 2013, Palais des Festivals, Cannes. 

French Release date : July 10, 2013 

For further information :

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