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Sarah Al Atassi 2023

As far as I can remember, I've always considered creation as the fuel of life. Very early on, I launched into craft experiments, using my own being as first creative tool. I could barely walk when I began to explore the assets of such an amazing flesh vessel, stretching my envelope to dissect functioning. This curiosity took me on an exciting journey that came to a clear conclusion or, at least for me, a firm conviction. Namely that living body is the driving force behind creation.

These in-depth explorations led me to multiply body practices while I was still a kid. Whether it was about dancing, drawing or belt grading in karate... I loved physics, all disciplines combined. Indistinctly athletic or artistic, they had to be eclectic beyond limits. That's how I honed a taste for the moment, for movement. A taste that turned into an essential quest: grasping reality without giving up fantasy.

 Sarah Al Atassi aged 6, summer 1994, family seaside vacation, South of France

But soon, this game gave me the sheaf. Too many endless hours in gym competition. Too many sisters on a diet with no moderation. Too many bland lessons, not enough substantive education. Too much of theirs, not enough of mine. I wanted something real, big, brave! Down with the tears and bursts nestled in my heart. Wealth is pure prison when it smells like poison. No more unfair probation. Down with forced submission. I said no to the pain of a bitter life. My art, my career. My time, then my way. I'd never be the prey of my peers, despite their cheers or fat  wages.


I wove a passion for cinema through a multi-step learning process started as a kid. First with dance and drama. Later in high school, with editing whose savoir-faire taught me to question the senses through a narrative and rhythmic approach. To convey my artistic intentions more widely, I started making my first films in 2013, as an autodidact. Presenting them within indie film battles and other alternative festivals made me aware of the echo that my work gave off. I then acted on my film-making desire in 2016, by joining La Fémis as part of  "La Résidence" program (in France, La Fémis is the reference state film school under the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture and Communication). I experienced this intense training year as an opportunity to get involved in proactive professional development. An experience that gave birth to a committed cinema: mine. This year resulted in the release of my first "real" film project (produced with funds other than mine!). A pivotal film known as "Prends Mon Poing" ("Fist" in English). It was in summer of 2017, when my movie director career really started.

On a personal and artistic level, I like primary dimension of being, exhilaration of the senses, correlation between aesthetics and semantics. That's why, as a writer-director, I work for a (hyper)sensitive cinema, embodied with passion and committed to diversity. My own way of honoring broken paths and forgotten outsiders. May the invisible become more visible.

mauvais genre by sarah al atassi

Through my work, I give priority to non-verbal language. Preferring to save dialogues in order to highlight words of the body and thus remain close to emotion. I thrive in visceral creation, involving myself body and soul. Narrative, documentary or music films… Whatever the form, I'm on fire. Getting hard straight. Solo or in a team. Nevermind when it comes to creation. I like building with instinct. No room for passive. Long live borderline, sensory and jubilant cinema. 

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