Prize-winner Abdul Latif Abdul Hameed honored within the Syrian Culture Days

Artist Abdel Latif Abdel Hameed has the unique experience in the world of film directing. His films are well received by the audience and they win festival awards for their simplicity, spontaneity, and their approach to the tales of simple people in  rich detail.

In recognition of his artistic career, the director and writer Abdel Latif Abdel Hamid was one of the six people honored in the   Syrian Culture Days, for the joy, childhood, innocence and subtlety that his films carried, and his great love for Syria, winning dozens of awards locally, regionally  and globally.

Abdel Hamid, whose films were produced by the General Film Organization, was distinguished by his ability to combine comedy and tragedy at the same time. The simple rural environment was the basic feature of most of his works. Although he later moved to the city, he still looked for good rural faces.

 The second half of the 1980s witnessed a turn in Syrian cinema, one of which was the mass films made by the director Abdel Latif Abdel Hameed, in which for the first time the director received a profit from the box office.

Abd al-Latif Abd al-Hameed was born in 1954 in occupied Iskenderun(Alexanderetta), and his family fled to the village of Bahloulia in Lattakia countryside to escape the oppression of the Turkish regime.

The creative director spent his childhood years moving between Homs and the occupied Syrian Golan due to his father's work in the Syrian Arab Army.

Cinema was his first passion. He used to watch all Arab and foreign films that were shown in the city halls of Lattakia.

The life of Abdul Hameed took the right path, he says, when he was awarded a scholarship to study cinema at the Moscow Higher Institute of Cinema. He graduated in 1981 with three films: "Good Night," "Old Lesson," and "Upside Down." After returning to Damascus, he completed two documentaries for the Cinema General Organization, "Wishes,” and "Our Hands."

The Syrian cinema audiences became acquainted with Abdel Hamid when he worked as an assistant director in Mohamed Malas’ masterpiece “Dreams of a City” in 1983.

In 1987, he played the main character in Osama Mohamed's "Daytime Stars" that with his first film, "Nights of the Jackal", produced in 1989, won the gold medal of the Damascus Film Festival. It also received the Best Actor Award given to the artist Asaad Fedda, the Golden Olive at the Mediterranean Basin Festival in Corsica, and the Golden Award at the First International Film Festival in Annonay, France.

After his first film, Abdel Hameed made three films that critics rated highly with “Nights of the Jackal,” as part of a rural quartet that dealt with the environment of the Syrian coast in the sixties. His film "Oral Messages,” produced in 1989, won many awards at the Valencia and Montpellier festivals, then "Qamran Wa Zaytouna,” produced in 2001" and "What the Listeners Want” in 2003.

In his 1998 film "The Soul Breeze," Abdel Hamid made an unprecedented move in Syrian and Arab cinema when he presented this film as a gift to the spirit of the late Egyptian musician Baligh Hamdi.

The pain and devastation of the ongoing war did not dampen the creativity of Abdul Hamid. He continued to write and make  many films that depicted the war, some of which dealt with  its negative effects on Syrian society in general and the family in particular, such as “I, my father, my mother and you”, “The Bee Road” in 2017, and “Solo Play” in 2018.

This year, Abdel Hamid brought his audience back to the world of the simple rural environment that he presented in most of his works through his new feature films “The Road” and “The Last Breakfast,” which won the Best Screenplay Award at the last Alexandria Film Festival.

Abdel Hameed, who directed 15 films for the Syrian cinema, attracted the audience, with his brilliant expressive  acting performance , featuring unique characters, starting with "daytime stars" , passing through “Ma Ward”  by Ahmed Ibrahim Ahmed, “Waiting for Autumn” by Joud Saeed, and “Amina” by Ayman Zeidan,  has proven himself to be a comprehensive artist.

Amal Farhat