The Samama Chikli Project

After multiple viewings of  Albert Samama Chikli’s work in recent editions, we are ready to share some (spectacular) findings that have surfaced from the archives of this remarkable personality, now entrusted to the Cineteca di Bologna by his family.

The study of letters, invoices, handwritten notes and photographs revealed the workings of a career behind the camera spanning from 1905 to 1924, allowing us to establish, for the first time, a filmography of over 100 titles. All in all, Albert Samama can no longer be considered a marginal note in the history of cinema, an ephemeral and exotic presence: he was a pioneer, a leading figure of the early days of cinema and the first filmmaker of the African continent. Il Cinema Ritrovato is set to reveal, over the next few years, the extent and articulations of his legacy. We begin with a first selection of restorations – actuality films and newsreels – from the original negatives preserved by Gaumont Pathé Archives and a spectacular find from La Cinémathèque française.

Curated by Mariann Lewinsky and Cecilia Cenciarelli.