Biography of Shadi Abbdessalam (1930-1986)

Film director born in Alexandria (Egypt) on March 9, 1930 and died in Cairo in 1986.


After studying architecture at the University of Oxford and the Institute of fine arts in Cairo, Abdessalam was oriented towards the art direction in the film industry. In addition to designing the costumes of the local Blockbuster An-nasir Salah ad-Din (Yussef Chahine, 1963), collaborated in the artistic direction of different foreign films shot in Egypt, Cleopatra (Joseph l. Mankiewicz, 1963), Pharaoh (Jerzy Kawalerowicz, 1966) and the man's struggle for survival (Roberto Rossellini, 1968). Director since 1968 by the Experimental Centre of cinematography in Cairo, soon debut as a filmmaker with his first and only feature film, Al - mumia, a true milestone in the history of Egyptian cinema. Emblematic film of the burgeoning movement of renewal undertaken by some young filmmakers in the late 1960s, Al - mumia behind the superficial account of an archaeological adventure clothing for a rigorous investigation into the Egyptian identity and the legacy of the past. The passion for their country's pharaonic heritage reappears in most of its short and medium-length films (only titles which complete his filmography, given that the conditions of production do not allow you to achieve the realization of his second feature film, Ajnatun). Highlights among them el-fallah-fasih, a small masterpiece in which - under the pretext of the evocation of ancient Egypt - Abdessalam rehearsed a lucid and ambitious parable about power. His premature death, when he/she was fifty-six years of age, Egyptian cinema deprived of one of its most atypical talents and one of its most innovative spirits.


Cortometrajes1970: to el-fallah el fasih.

Mediometrajes1973: Afaq. 1975: Guyush as-shams. 1977: to el-hisn. 1982: Arsh Tutanjamun. 1984: el-Ahram. 1986: Ramsis.

Largometrajes1969: el-Mumia