ALGIERS April 17, 2019: The new director of the Algerian Cinémathèque Salim Aggar has a prolific career in the world of cinema, communication and film criticism.
An innate taste for the media, cinema and audiovisual
A graduate in French letters, Salim AGGAR has spent more than 30 years of his career in the Algerian press. Journalist in the country’s most important newspapers such as L’Expression, Le Quotidien d’Oran and Horizons. He had brilliantly launched in 2015, the electronic newspaper DIA (Latest News of Algeria) which has established itself as one of the most important electronic media in the country.
Algerian and international cinema and audiovisual specialist, he is often asked to appear on Algerian public and private television sets to comment on audiovisual, communication and film subjects. In 2015, he hosted shows on Beur TV, ” Médias croisés ” “Bled Tv” and was a columnist in three shows: “Nikat ala Elhourouf” on EchourouK News, Mazal El Hal on El Djazairia One and Zapping Ramdhan on Ennahar Tv.
His profession as a journalist and his love for cinema have allowed him to be on the lookout for all the news on cinema and audiovisual.
Between 1992 and 2017, he wrote hundreds of articles in the audiovisual, political, communication, advertising and telecoms fields. He is known for his outspokenness, harsh criticism and shattering statements. He wrote several theses on Algerian cinema, such as in the review on “The 40 years of Algerian cinema” published by the Year of Algeria in France (2003), but also devoted himself to the promotion of short films with his association
” A nous les écrans “, of which he has been president since 2002. Supporter of a strong national cinema, with a local orientation and a balanced co-production, Salim Aggar has always defended the heritage of Algerian cinema.
A successful director’s career
Artist at heart, Salim Aggar was drawn to drawing, but in the meantime he had started a career as a director in 1989 by signing his first short film in super 8 at the age of 21, entitled “God made the mountain and man made the city ”. An experience that completely changed the course of his artistic life. He then directed several other short films in the same format, the most prolific of which was a documentary on children and war entitled “Soldat at 13”. In another register, he worked as an assistant on the medium-length film “Cousines” by Lyès Salem (César for best short film in 2005) and in several documentaries.
Since 2001, he has been working on the production of a documentary series on Algerian cinema, entitled “Chronique de braise du cinéma Algerien”. The first part was completed in 2007 “It turns in Algiers”, which shows the difficulties of Algerian filmmakers during the period of terrorism and which was presented in several festivals around the world: in San Francisco, in Cork in Ireland, in Amiens in France and at the Al Jazeera
Documentary Festival. In the meantime he made a second documentary entitled: “Words of a French prisoner of the ALN”, on the testimony of a French prisoner of the war in Algeria. This documentary produced by ENTV was presented at the Forum des Images de Paris in 2012 and selected in several festivals: Amiens, for the Mediterranean Report and Documentary Award in Marseille in 2010, at the meetings on the history and archives of Ciné- memory of Marseille and the Henri Langlois international cinematographic meetings in Paris in 2012.
He is also the author of three other documentaries: “Le moudjahid de la plume”, on the journey of the dean of the Algerian press Nouredine Nait Mazi, “Chahine, Algeria and the cinema” (2017) on the relations between the famous Egyptian filmmaker and Algeria. He is undoubtedly the only Algerian filmmaker to have met the famous Algerian filmmaker by doing an interview with him.
He also broadcast on the Entv, his latest production “The History of the Film The Battle of Algiers” where he rediscovered 50 years after the main actors and technicians of Gillo Pontecorvo’s film.
He is currently completing the editing of the documentary ” La caméra le fusil” on the treatment of the Algerian war by French and Algerian filmmakers.
With the association A nous les screens, he created the first Film Festival in Algiers in 2009
Elected president of the Association A nous les écrans in 2002, he devoted himself to the promotion of short films and young cinema, by organizing film clubs. In November 2009, he created the Algerian Cinematographic Days (JCA), the first film festival installed in the Algerian capital and which has become the essential meeting place for short films and documentaries in Algeria for more than six years. In parallel, Salim Aggar created the first site dedicated to Algerian cinema www.anouslesecrans.com and launched a national script contest, providing the winners with writing aids. With his legitimacy as president of the Association A nous les écrans and his background, he is often asked by the Festivals as a member of the jury: Alexandria, Oujda, Marseille or even a member of the Jury at the Amazigh Festival and the golden fennecs in 2005.
His knowledge of the world of cinema led him to be a member of the Film Festival police station working alongside Ahmed Bedjaoui and Zehira Yahi and to be communications director of the Arab Film Festival in Oran. He was a member of a committee of seven people for the viewing of the film at the Ministry of Culture for exploitation visas.
Salim Aggar, who is known for his firm positions in the world of national cinema, has always fought for a strong national cinema against the dependence of certain foreign funding, which distorts the orientation of the director. Since December 20, 2018, he has been installed as the new director of the Algerian Center for Cinematography.