Ahmed Benaissa, an Algerian actor and comedian, has died hours before his latest film “Sons of Ramses” was set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday. Benaissa was 78 and died after a battle with a long illness.
“Sons of Ramses” (“Goutte d’Or”) producers as well as its sales agents mk2 announced Benaissa’s death Friday and dedicated the screening of the film from director Clément Cogitore, which is meant to premiere as part of a special screening at Cannes’ Critic’s Week on Friday, to his memory.
“We have learned of the sudden death of comedian Ahmed Benaissa. All our heartfelt thoughts go out to his family and loved ones. Tonight’s screening of “Sons of Ramses” (“Goutte d’Or”) in Cannes is dedicated to him,” mk2 Films said via a Facebook post.
Benaissa was known for his hoarse voice and comedic acumen and is considered part of the golden age of Algeria’s cinema and theater. He started his career with 1971’s “Étoile aux dents ou Poulou le magnifique,” and he’s also known for films such as “Gates of the Sun” and “Close Enemies.”
Benaissa received training at the National Theater School in France and has performed and directed in the National Theater of Algiers and the Regional Theater of Oran.