Actor and director Ahmed Benaissa, considered a major figure in Algerian theater and cinema and starring in the film Goutte d’Or presented in Cannes, has died at the age of 78, the Algerian Ministry of Culture said.
During his 50-year career, which began in 1971, he acted in more than 120 films, including internationally acclaimed Algerian productions such as “Papicha”, “Le sang des loups”, “De Hollywood à Tamanrasset” or “Outlaw”.
In a message to the family of the deceased, published on Facebook on Friday, Minister of Culture and Arts Soraya Mouloudji regretted the loss of a “monument” of Algerian culture that “made an indelible mark on the world of cinema and culture.” Algerians will leave theater”.
He died in Cannes on Friday, before the screening of Clément Cogitore’s film ‘Goutte d’or’ as part of Critics’ Week.
“Devastated by an indisposition,” he will be returned to Algeria and buried there, according to his son, the official Algerian agency APS said.
The famous Algerian writer Kamel Daoud paid him a strong tribute on Twitter: “A beautiful soul, a great actor, a man without hatred and with immense talent”, stressing that Ahmed Benaissa was involved in the “shooting of the film + Meursault against investigation + took part (inspired by the novel of the same name by M. Daoud, editor’s note) for one of the two main roles”.
Born in Algiers in 1944, Ahmed Benaïssa had one of the most successful careers in Algerian theater and cinema, collaborating with many directors such as Merzak Allouache and Rachid Bouchareb.
The actor, recognized for his exceptional talent, had directed many projects on the stage of the theater in Algiers and Oran (West).
Ahmed Benaissa had also directed the regional theater of Sidi Bel Abbes near Oran in 1995, during the very difficult period of the black decade, the civil war that the country suffered between 1992 and 2002.
The actor also appeared very regularly in productions for Algerian and French television.