Ghanem Zrelli



I was born on the 6th of December, 1984 in Nabeul in the northeast of Tunisia. I grew up in Korba, a resort town that hosted the first national theater festival after independence of Tunisia. It was the year of 2000, when I started for the first time, to tread a path in the drama world, by being on stage and, forme, it was the dawn of a dream. Soon after, I tried my first own staging with the drama group “la marge” which I founded, in collaboration with a few young friends from my town and for five following years. I both put on and played in a few plays, which had local success and seduced the audience who had been used to attend and see the local drama troop. In addition, it was in Korba that had the opportunity for the first time to be on a film set as an observer in the filming of BABA AZIZ by the movie director Naceur Khemir, the latter who made me find out a differnet drama side and made me dig deep in the concept of being a movie actor. Since, I decided to study what impressed me and accordingly I succeeded in joining the higher institute of dramatic arts in 2005 were I had the opportunity to work alongside with one of the greatest names in nationaldrama and cinema. In 2008 I succeeded to get the major (first) role of the Tunisian first president late Bourguiba in the movie entitled“Thalathoun” the Arabic word for Thirty by the great movie director Fadhel Jaziri. This experience was highly enriching, witnessing the movie preparations, procedures and steps was a kind of six-month workshop with various actors of several generations. During a few following years, I just took part in underground short movies. In 2009, in collaboration with my fellow graduates I put on a documentary theater play entitled “Nation or Alienation” which was quickly censored since it evoked the Rdeyef uprising revolt in 2008. In 2010, I simultaneously put on and wrote a play“LEHNE” which means here in Tunisian dialect and which was an adapted comedy of the text “Die Kleinburgerhochzeit” by B.Brecht. “LEHNE” was a genre of a highly inspiring theater to me. I had to wait till the revolution to restart my cinema career.
In 2012 I played, in the series OMAR by Hatem Ali. My role ofAli Ibn Abi Taleb, the prophet’s cousin, and whose face was never seen in an artistic work before due to religious restrictions, was a controversial one. Nevertheless, I had the opportunity to be discovered by a larger audience, millions of spectators, namely around the Islamic world, were attracted by the role whichrose debate, and because of which I had been transmitted death threats which made me avoid playing in Arabic cinema. Back to my country, I found myself in the new wave of young Tunisian cinema, with directors of my generation. in 2015, I won the best male actor award at the 5th meeting of Tunisian directors for the role of "Mehdi"; the homosexual singer killed by his lover. First role in the film Narcisse by Sonia Shemkhi, and in 2016, I was awarded within the framework of the 5th session of the Maghrebian film festival of Oujda in Morocco for the same role. In the same year, I played the role of Mohamed the depressed activist fleeing prison during the events of the revolution in Thala, the martyred city; it was in the film "Thala Mon Amour"by young director Mehdi Hmili. In 2017, I played the role of Youssef, a young rebellious student who leads a fight against police rapists of his girlfriend in the film "Beauty and the dogs" by Kaouther ben Hnia, the film which was screened during the 70th Cannes festival session, after being selected in the "Un certain regard" section. And which has been distributed in various countries. The integration of several young film directors in television production in Tunisia had seduced me so that I tried out some roles whose popular success was combined with. these experiences in complex characters and compositional roles such as the role of Slouma the rich actor drug addict who was corrupted by mafia in « flash-back » series by Mourad Bechick in two seasons (2016-2017). Within the same year, I refound the Syrian director Hatem Aliin a tv series in literary Arabic Orkedia, A more successful role i was when I played « Younès » the torturer in a YOI detention center during the“EL Maestro” series directed by Lassaad Ouesleti in 2019. Playing in Tv series was an adventure intended for a different audience than that of cinema and in a different production logic, which represented apersonal challenge for me. In the same period, I had other international experiences with the British director Anthony Waller during the Russian series the trader and the role of General Hussein El Kamel the nephew of Saddam Hussein who was assassinated by the system after his Unsuccessful plot, still a complex role. Then a return to Author Cinema with the Kuweiti director Hamad Al Sarraf, a film that was shot entirely in IRAN, and I had the chance to confront Iranian artists of exceptional sensitivity. The merit of this production was, bringing together a large number of anti polical system Iranian technical artists with great experience, the advises of a sound engineer namely Mahmoud Sammak, 40years of experience, for the range of voices where the tone, without understanding my accent, had marked me. It was also the reunion of a generation of young best actors from the Arab world whom I met in my starting Arabic experience Omar.


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