Film director

Samer received a creation grant for his next documentary. 


What is your artistic background?

I started practicing and working on art at an early age as an actor in theatre in high school and university where I performed many plays and attended some workshops for acting, mime and ballet. After a few years, I had the chance to play in a film and I was delighted by cinema. I met a film director with whom I worked for the next 10 years. Beside my work as an actor and my studies in Damascus University and in Beirut, I started to learn and develop my skills in photography editing and directing workshops, research, reading and online courses… In addition to all these things, I grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp where art had a big space. It is a unique tool to raise our voices, defend our rights… it had a big influence on me!


How do you see your profession today?

I have always been fascinated by art. I realize that art is not an easy profession, especially as most of my previous experiences were based on war conditions. Art is such an important profession for me, for the values it carries and the role it plays in social changes. The power of expression makes people feel, laugh, cry, it allows us to discuss philosophical ideas, historical questions and social concepts, it's also a unique method of self-expression for me. It is an everyday challenge to find, with my skills, a better way to express myself, my feelings, my understanding of the world, to be a part of the human struggle for a better life and future. Today, I am lucky to have survived one of the biggest catastrophes in modern history, I have found in France a safe place, with better opportunities and protection, I will develop my work with greater access to professional and academic life. 


How do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?

In 5-10 years, I wish to have completed my academic studies, improved my skills and have access to the production system and life, where I can produce my work and be part of the academic, professional, and intellectual life. I hope to get French nationality and be able to visit my homeland, Palestine, which I have not seen since. I also hope to be a part of the artistic, social and political life, to fulfill my duties and participate in creating a better future by defending victims and rejecting crime all around the world.



This interview was conducted in 2019
Photo credit: Céline Anaya Gautier