Mahamat-Saleh Haroun was born in 1960 in Abéché, Chad. He studied cinema in Paris and journalism in Bordeaux. After writing for several years for many regional dailies, he directed his first short film Maral Tanié in 1994. In 1999, his first feature, Bye-bye Africa, was nominated at the Venice Film Festival and was awarded the Best First Film Prize. He then made Abouna (Notre père) (Cannes Directors' Fortnight, 2002), and Daratt, Saison sèche (Special Jury Award, Venice 2006). In 2010, A Screaming Man, his fourth feature, was the first Chadian film ever nominated for the Palme d'Or Award at the Cannes Film Festival, and was awarded the Jury Prize.
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