03/10/2014

Mohamed Fassi-Fihri becomes new director of the Moroccan Cinema Centre

The film producer and member of Euromed Audiovisual's Financing Working Group prend un poste vacant depuis avril

Industry, Morocco

Mohamed Fassi-Fihri becomes new director of the Moroccan Cinema Centre

Mohamed Sarim Al Haq Fassi-Fihri is the new director of the Moroccan Cinema Centre (CCM), reports Le Matin. The Moroccan producer replaces the former director of the centre, Noureddine Saïl. 

The new head of the CCM was chosen on October 2 by a committee established by the council of ministers chaired by prime minister Abdellilah Benkirane.

The decision thus puts end to months of suspense amongst film professionals and the general public. Previous CCM director Nourreddine Sail left the CCM in April, and the government then postponed announcing his successor several times. 

After over six months, producer Sarim Al Haq Mohamed Fassi-Fihri has now been elected as the new director of the  CCM. 

Fassi-Fihri was born in Marrakech October 19, 1958, began his professional career at the age of 15 in photography, and is a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic. He also studied pharmacy and dentistry. But in the summer of 1982, he was hired as a trainee on an American film. It was a turning point in his life and he decided to dedicate himself to film.

Two years later, he opened his first production company. In 1985, he produced the feature film Compromis, directed by Latif Lahlou. He founded the current Moroccan Society of Production & Services (MPS) to produce films for Moroccans, and has acted as executive producer for foreign films in Morocco.

The films that Fassi-Fihri has produced or co-produced include Verdingbub and Thief of Dreams, directed by Hakim Noury, Mektoub by Nabil Ayouch, Brief Detention by Jilali Ferhati, and Ahmed Boulane’s Angel’s Satan. He has also produced Five Films for a Hundred Years, directed by a group of Moroccan filmmakers to mark the centenary celebrations of cinema worldwide. 

In total, Fassi-Fihri has produced, co-produced, or acted as executive producer for over 40 feature films, television films and series including The Sacred Night by Nicolas Klotz, Napoleon and Josephine – A Love Story by Richard Heffron for Warner Bros, Asterix and Obelix, Mission Cleopatra by Alain Chabat and others.

He has worked with major international groups such as Gaumont, Pathé, Lagardère, BBC and Warner Bros. 

Additionally, Fassi-Fihri holds a master's degree in Production from the University of Toulouse, Jean Jaures. He has attended several round tables, seminars and cultural days at international events, including in Namur, Paris, Tunis, Cairo, Barcelona and Las Palmas. He was also a member of the Euromed Audiovisual III programme's Financing Working Group to brainstorm new funding mechanisms for cinema in the South Mediterranean region.

Fassi-Fihri has previously held several positions including: Chairman of the Moroccan Chamber of Film Producers (CMPF), president of the Moroccan Association of Audiovisual and Cinema Professionals (AMPAC), director of the International Film Festival of Marrakech Foundation, administrator of the CCM, and owner of the Studios Cinedina in Casablanca. 

Source and photo: Le Matin

Translation: Yma de Almeida

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