Hakim Belabbes was born on February 20, 1961 in Bejaad, Morocco. He lives and works in Chicago. After studying American and English literature in Rabat, he began studying cinema in Lyon. He continued his studies in the United States and obtained a Master degree in Fine Arts in Cinema at Columbia College in Chicago.
He startes by directing documentaries, Un nid dans la chaleur in 1996, Toujours prêts in 1997, Un berger et un fusil in 1998. He then turns two experimental short films, Chuchotements in 2001 and Raconte à l'eau in 2002. The same year, he signs his first feature film, Trois anges aux ailes cassées. He goes on with Tell the Water in 2002, then Les Fibres de l’âme (2003), then in 2006 Pourquoi la mer ? (Alesh a lebhar?), followed by Hazihi al-ayady (Those Hands), which he wrote, produced and directed in 2008; Fragments (2010), Rêves ardents (2011) and Vaine tentative de définir l’amour (2012). He has also directed several documentaries and short films.