Hassan Said is an award winning Egyptian born filmmaker, a taleteller of stories of self-awareness and vivid realities. His poetic use of striking characters and imagery explores the psychological impact of both life’s shocking and heartwarming moments. For Said, films are about, “glimpses of a person’s life, a situation, or experience; that’s what makes films more powerful than having a beginning, middle, an end.”
He moved from Alexandria, Egypt to New York at the age of 15, where he later studied Communication and Media Arts at Dutchess Community College. His careful concentration on the human psyche is evident in his very first short Film, Unforgettable Romance, a portrayal of the collapse and aftermath of a failed relationship. In 2005 the film was nominated for best short at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival and premiered at the Laemmle Sunset Theater in Hollywood. That same year, Said moved to San Francisco to study directing at the Academy of Art University.
Hassan’s experience ranges from small budget independent projects to big budget commercial productions including Gus Van Sant’s Academy award winning film, Milk and NBC’S TV series Trauma. Among his recent films is Infamy, a disorienting impressionistic account of the events of September 11th as depicted through 5,700 frames of hand-manipulated film. Infamy was an official selection at the prestigious 63rd Annual Edinburgh International Film Festival and won best experimental film at the Epidemic Film Festival.
Said’s subsequent project, It’s a Strange World, is the surreal story of a beautiful woman’s hallucination through a bizarre transcendent world. Shot over three years and cast with non-actors, this film is truly a labor of love. Said pushes narrative boundaries through visions of Eve’s lush, incoherent flight through memory, time and consciousness. It’s a Strange World has screened at the de Young Museum in San Francisco in 2009 as well as other exhibition venues with live orchestration.
Mute, his latest short drama, chronicles the story of a father coming home one night to find his autistic daughter physically abused. The film won the award of merit for best short film and direction at the Accolade Film Awards, as well as the German Independence Award for best foreign language short at the Oldenburg International Film Festival.
Hassan has recently finished producing the Angolan film, Alambamento, directed by Mario Bastos and supported by the Angolan Ministry of Culture. Alambamento tells the story of Mathias, a young man attempting to deliver a dowry to marry the woman he loves. Making this film left Said inarguably affected by the positive impact of creating a new voice for cinema within a community.
In his films, Said concentrates on the characters that slip in and out of people’s lives unnoticed and uncared for, and highlight their fears as well as their significance. Said tackles many controversial subjects. He incorporates various techniques to expose realistic and sometimes disturbing situations. His frequent use of dark sets, hand-held camera method, and non-linear storytelling create settings where the truths discovered can be harsh and/or healing.
Hassan Said is currently developing various projects in the United States and abroad; he hopes to continue sharing tales of social issues and universal verity around the world.