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Red Olive Tree

Fall Grant 2011 - Development Stage
Current project status: PRODUCTION

Karim Bensalah / Feature Narrative / Algeria, Qatar / 100 min / Colour / Original Language: Arabic, French / Interests: About Family, History, Road Trip, Dramedy, Immigration, Identity


The Belmakis, an upper-middle-class family in France, appear to lead a trouble-free life; all, however, is not as it seems. Ahmed, the patriarch, harbours a secret: he is a ‘Harki’ – an Algerian who served on the side of the French during the Algerian War. His French wife, Françoise, is lonely and depressed. Tarek, their son, still lives at home and has yet to find himself. And daughter Sofia, a law student, has no interest in her Algerian heritage. Ahmed dies in an accident while driving home. As the family prepares for his funeral, they hear a knocking from inside the coffin. Ahmed emerges alive and with a clear purpose: to travel back to Algeria.


Karim Bensalah
Karim Bensalah
Habib Tsaki Ruelle

About the Director

After spending his childhood in Algeria, Brazil, Haiti and Senegal, Karim Bensalah studied social sciences and philosophy in France. He later attended the London Film School, where he directed the short films ‘Constant Flow’ (2000) and ‘Fatima’s Secret’ (2004). In 2005, he directed a segment of the feature film ‘Paris la métisse’ along with 15 other young directors. He has directed short films with the Collectif Tribudom, and created his own installation work. His ‘Chibanis’ (2011) is a documentary about Arab workers in France. He attended the 2010 RAWI Screenwriters Lab in Jordan and the June 2011 Sundance Screenwriters Lab.


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    Karim Bensalah


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