Nadia Chaabani, the first DA to go international – Actus Ciné |

All movie buffs will agree that it takes more than actors to make a good movie. It takes a great team of passionate and talented people, serving the vision of a great director. And of course, their first assistant. Focus on a unique “first AD”, on the way to becoming international.

Notable first AD, Nadia Chaabani, on set. Photo by Christophe Brachet.

In her quest to become one of the best first DAs, Nadia Chaabani has always stood out for her passion, from an early age, holder of a master’s degree in cinema, a diploma in projectionist operator, and certification as an assistant director and stage manager.

She worked for many years as a stage manager, as well as third, then second assistant director. Learn and perfect their knowledge, skills and know-how. Indeed, she is French!

Over the years, Nadia Chaabani has made a name for herself, working on short films, television sets, up to the biggest productions in France.

She was involved in the Netflix film OXYGEN, directed by Alexandre AJA, on the Cannes award-winning film, CLIMAX, directed by Gaspard Noé, and also EN FAMILLE (Our Crazy Family), directed by Thomas Lipmann, presented on national television in France.

“The executive assistant is a complicated, demanding, time-consuming and sometimes exhausting job that requires you to be passionate about what you do. The Location Manager is a position that must work in tandem with the ADs. They take care of all the logistics of the shoot. Hence the need for me to know both professions because the actions of one directly imply the other. – said Nadia.

During her career, Nadia Chaabani has rubbed shoulders with international French talents, the people she admires the most, including director Luc Besson or actors such as Gérard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve, to name but a few.

Nadia Chaabani recently worked with director Floriane ANDERSEN, as first assistant, on a project previously postponed due to the pandemic, from production company Artak Pictures.

“Floriane refused to make this film if I couldn’t be present. We were able to shoot in November. At the end of this shooting, I was offered to be 1st AD on a feature film. I can’t give you any details on this project but it will be in California and with a famous director… I’m quite proud of it because the producer who offered me this position was convinced that he wanted me on this set as soon as we worked together. —says Nadia

It’s rare that we put the first AD in the spotlight, and I can’t wait to see what Nadia has in store for us in the future, to say the least.


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