Samuel Benchetrit was born in 1973 at Champigny-sur-Marne, to a lower-class family. His father, a Moroccan Jew is a locksmith and his mother a hairdresser. He left school at 15 to start to work. Accumulating small jobs, he worked for example as an assistant to a photographer or an usher in a movie theater. In 2000, he published his first novel, Récit d’un Branleur and directed Nouvelles de la Tour L, a 9-minute short film with Sami Bouajila.