Cairo Int'l Film Festival mourns Tunisian critic Khemais Khayati

Ahram Online , Thursday 20 Jun 2024

The Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) mourned the Tunisian film critic and writer Khemais Khayati, 77, who passed away on Tuesday at the Saint Augustin clinic in Tunis.

Kh mais Khayati
Kh mais Khayati


Khayati was born on 10 December 1946 in Ksour in northwestern Tunisia.

He studied at the École Normale d'Instituteurs in Tunis, Paris X Nanterre, and Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle. 

He received his PhD at the Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle with a thesis titled: "Cinema and society in the work of Salah Abu Seif."

In its official press release, the CIFF management described Khayati as one of the most prominent Arab film critics.

Khayati contributed greatly to film criticism and worked as a journalist specializing in cinema.

He worked for years in several written, and audio-visual media outlets in France, Tunisia, and elsewhere in the Arab world.

In France, he worked for years at the Radio France Culture and the French TV Channel Three. He also managed the press and communications office of the Arab World Institute in Paris.

Back home

In the early 1990s, Khayati returned to his home country.

Back in Tunisia, he worked as a producer at the national television channel, presenting several programs about Tunisian, Arab, and international cinema.

Meanwhile, he worked as a cultural correspondent for Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper and editor-in-chief of Al-Sabah newspaper.

Khayati published 15 books in Arabic and French, including Palestine and Cinema: Film Criticism (1982); About Egyptian Cinema (1985); Salah Abu Seif (1995), and other works.

In 2021, he received a Tanit d'Honneur at the 2021 Carthage Film Festival for his contribution to the development of film criticism in the Arab world.

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