Lemine Ould Salem is an internationally acclaimed film director from Mauritania. He is also a talented screenwriter and producer. He is best known for his award-winning films God’s horses (2008), Waiting for the Barbarians (2015) and They Will Have to Kill Us First (2016).
Born in 1981 in Mauritania, Ould Salem’s passion for film began at a young age. His father was a teacher and his mother was a housewife, and he grew up in a traditional environment. He attended a local school and went on to pursue a degree in Political Science and International Relations at the University of Nouakchott.
In 2003, Ould Salem left Mauritania to pursue his dream of making films. He studied at the London International Film School and graduated with distinction in 2007. His first feature-length film, God’s Horses, was released in 2008. The film follows the story of a young man from a nomadic tribe in Mauritania who sets out on a journey to find his destiny. The film was awarded the Grand Prix at the Tangier International Film Festival in 2009, as well as the audience award at the Arab Film Festival in Rotterdam in 2010.
In 2015, Ould Salem released Waiting for the Barbarians, a film about a young boy who is sent to the desert to look for his lost father. The film was selected for the Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section and earned a Cesar Award for Best First Feature Film.
Ould Salem has continued to work on films that explore issues of identity, migration, and colonialism. His 2016 documentary They Will Have to Kill Us First follows the story of Tuareg musicians in Mali and their struggle to keep their culture alive in the face of oppressive regimes. The film was an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Festival International du Film de Marrakech. It was also nominated for the Best Documentary Feature award at the 2016 British Independent Film Awards.
Lemine Ould Salem is a talented director and storyteller who uses the power of film to explore complex social and political issues. He continues to be a vibrant and influential figure in the international film community.