If you are dedicated towards your dreams no obstacle can be big enough to stop you. Algerian actor and director, Hadj Ali Menad is a shining example that no matter how big the challenges get, it’s your will that counts.
The co-director of Algerian series, Sultan Achour S3 spent his childhood on the other shore of the Mediterranean in Oran. And it is this very place where he discovered his passion for cinema. “I always wanted to be a director behind the camera but in Algeria, I had little hope to succeed and I got to the sport,” he says.
Hadj opens up about how action stars like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan inspired him. “The one who dreams of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, starts first in Karate without realizing that it didn’t totally fit his dream.” He recalls that when Thai boxing arrived in Algeria it was a fashion. In martial arts based films it was spectacular and he had the energy to follow it.
Hadj Ali Menad got introduced to cinema when he was 20. Earlier he used to watch the films only on DVDs. Rush Hour 2 released in France and there was only one cinema available at his location and that too wasn’t really developed. But to see a Jackie Chan movie on the big screen was still a life changing experience for him. “I entered the room and it was an enchantment” he recalls and adds that he loved the experience so much that he decided to watch it again the next day.
This is when he made the decision of his life that he’ll be a director. Hadj instantly bought a camera and promised that he won’t stop at anything. Over the time, he also realised that he needs to learn acting as well and for that he needs to understand technology and various other exercises too.
Now after acing the job of direction and acting, Hadj Ali Menad continues to learn something new with each passing day. An extremely modest artist, Hadj knows how to impose his style gently in action movies despite having an imposing physique.