Merzak Allouache was born in Bab El Oued, Algeria, in 1944. He studied filmmaking in Algiers at the Institut National du Cinéma and subsequently at IDHEC in Paris. In 1976, he directed his first feature, Omar Gatlato. He lived in France from 1983 until 1988, then returned to Algeria to direct Bab El Oued City in 1993. Since then, he has directed films in both France and Algeria. Normal! (2011) won the prize for Best Arab Narrative Feature at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, while his most recent film, The Repentant (2012), screened in the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes and won the award for Best Arab Narrative Feature at DTFF.
Source: Doha Film Institute