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Spotlight on Adam Bessa: From Fishmonger to Cannes Winner
Adam Bessa was born in 1992 in Grasse. With an Italian-Tunisian mother and a Tunisian father, he spent a significant amount of time in Tunisia. He is fluent in French, Arabic, English, and Italian. Choosing to leave law school behind, Adam decided to pursue his long-standing passion for cinema. He bought a few books on acting and started learning on his own. From 2011 to 2012, he studied at the Jean-Périmony drama school in Paris, but he didn't enjoy the experience. He felt that the exercises offered were too "cinematic" in his eyes, and he was told that he showed too little and lacked expressiveness. As a result, he resigned and returned to Marseille, where he worked as a real estate agent and also pursued his other passion for being a fishmonger. Some time later, a friend asked him to act in a short film, marking his debut in cinema in 2010 with "Le Rapport homme femme," directed by Olivier André. In 2013, he appeared in Claire Fontecave's "Les Mouettes," and in 2015, he played Jason in the romantic thriller "Of Sound Mind," directed by Simon G. Mueller. In 2017, Adam portrayed the character of Reda in Sofia Djama's "Les Bienheureux." For his performance in the film, he was among the young actors pre-selected to compete for the César Award for Most Promising Actor, although he did not receive a nomination in the end. Despite his involvement in "Les Bienheureux," Adam continued to work as a fishmonger in Marseille, as he did not want to settle in Paris, where he didn't feel comfortable. In 2019, he played the role of police officer Kawa in the American war film "Mosul," directed by Matthew Michael Carnahan and based on the Battle of Mosul in 2016. In 2020, he portrayed the soldier Yaz Kahn in the American war film "Tyler Rake," directed by Sam Hargrave, and is set to reprise his role in the sequel, "Tyler Rake 2." In 2021, he played Abbas Naziri in five episodes of the third season of the series "Hanna," which is streamed on Prime Video. He also played the role of Abdel in the French dramatic comedy "Haute Couture," directed by Sylvie Ohayon. In 2022, Adam appeared in three films: "Azuro," directed by Matthieu Rozé, "Le Prix du passage," directed by Thierry Binisti, and the drama "Harka," directed by Lotfy Nathan. For the latter film, he won the Best Performance award at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in the Un Certain Regard section for his portrayal of Ali Hamdi. He was also named as one of the breakthrough actors of 2022 and pre-selected to compete for the César Award for Most Promising Actor. His upcoming project is "Motherhood" by Meryam Joobeur, a film about a mother and her daughter in an isolated Tunisian village.

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