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Hassen Ferhani was born in Algiers in 1986. In 2006, he directed his first film Les Baies d’Alger. He took part in l’Université d’été at La Fémis and co-directed Afric Hotel (2011). Later on, he made Tarzan, Don Quichotte et nous (2013), which was presented at Visions du Réel, FIDMarseille and Locarno, and which had already reflected his interest in documentary bordering on fiction. Roundabout in My Head (2015), shot in slaugtherhouses in Algiers, was his first feature. In 2015 he was awarded a McMillan-Stewart Fellowship in Distinguished Filmmaking from the Film Study Center.

143 rue du désert (2019)
104 min.

Previously, a slaughterhouse opened up the heart of Algiers to the world (Roundabout in My Head, 2015). Now, the manager of a small shop in the Sahara offers a place of peace − though maybe not an oasis, what with the sand wiping out even the colors in this documentary Western. A closed off chamber, an observation spot or a theater stage: such is the versatility of a filmmaking device that Ferhani – and therein lies his talent − never seems to be satisfied with, always being ready to embrace the unexpected. – Antoine Thirion, Locarno Film Festival, Concorso Cineasti del presente.

This Fall, the FSC will be hosting (remotely) a series of visiting filmmakers as part of our Nonfiction Workshop. Invited filmmakers will circulate links to their films in advance so that we can watch them on our own, and we will get together as a group to have a conversation about their work. As many of these works are in progress or yet to be released theatrically, we have limited capacity in terms of the number of participants we are able to accommodate. If you are interested in attending (and are not currently a FSC fellow), please email Cozette Russell