The purpose of the African Women in Cinema Blog is to provide a space to discuss diverse topics relating to African women in cinema--filmmakers, actors, producers, and all film professionals. The blog is a public forum of the Centre for the Study and Research of African Women in Cinema.

Le Blog sur les femmes africaines dans le cinéma est un espace pour l'échange d'informations concernant les réalisatrices, comédiennes, productrices, critiques et toutes professionnelles dans ce domaine. Ceci sert de forum public du Centre pour l'étude et la recherche des femmes africaines dans le cinémas.


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31 May 2019

Report: Africa Film Academy Workshop 2019 (Enugu, Nigeria)

Report: Africa Film Academy Workshop 2019

Source: AMAA Awards
Image: Africa Film Academy Award’s founder, Ms Peace Anyiam Osigwe

Africa Film Academy under the aegis of the AMAA Awards presented the Africa Film Academy Workshop held on Thursday 23rd of May at the Lift Hall, Enugu with an attendance of over five hundred participants. The workshop achieved its aim which is to create a paradigm shift in the African film industry.

With veterans like Patience Ozokwor (Mama G), the Aneke Twins,  Ofiafuluagwu Mbaka , Steve Ebo Afam Okereke alongside rising stars from the various sectors of the industry, the well-attended workshop focused on key industry specialist areas that professionals should focus on to boost professionalism and increase investment.

Different facilitators at the workshop offered subject-matter expert view to enhance creative output of the industry in general and professional credibility of practitioners from the ropes of movie-making, to the value chains of funding and distribution.

While speaking on thriving in the film business, and indeed any other business, Jim Jermanok, an award- winning writer, director, producer, author and speaker based in New York whose film “Em” won the Grand Jury Prize at the Seattle International Film Festival and the Criterion International Inspiration Award opined that to stop learning is to stop living, "for life is a class and we all are students." He further asserted that,  "to be successful is to call persistence to service. Don’t stop going when the going gets tough."

The representative of BVA Consultancy spoke on the issue of financial literacy and how to access funds from the Bank of Industry for films and other creative endeavours. While he stressed the need for financial prudence, he also put attendees through the process of obtaining loans from credible financial institutions while bearing their creativity in mind.

Martin Gbados, the producer of the award-winning film, ‘Solider Story’ was also present, he spoke to the students about distribution and contracts. While he emphasized the legality of a contract, he went into the heartaches that can be avoided when a contract is in place. He particularly applauded the adoption of digital distribution channels, which have been on the increase. 

The Enugu state commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Rita Mba, was in attendance as well as 200 participants sponsored by the Enugu State Government. The sponsorship was to the tune of N2million with additional funding from the Osigwe Anyiam Osigwe foundation. The speakers at the workshop promised to offer continued support to participants of the workshop and the organizers as well. The workshop also received the green light from some Honourables who promised to further the cause. With the participants staying  for about  nine hours, the Africa Film Academy Workshop was intriguing as well as engaging.

During the Gala night which held on Friday, 24 May 2019, the Africa Film Academy Award’s founder, Ms Peace Anyiam Osigwe, spoke about the need for the filmmakers from the South East and South South to improve the quality of their films that they should look at quality rather than quantity. She hoped that soon a film from here could go to Cannes, Berlin , or Toronto and win best Film at AMAA.

Patience Ozokwo one of the celebrants of the Gala commented on the role AMAA has played in her career, Enugu, Nigeria and Africa as whole. She added that AMAA gave her the opportunity to give back to an industry that is the life work of several people. She spoke about an experience with AMAA where she had an opportunity of flying more than 20 people outside of Nigeria to South Africa—an honour she didn’t take for granted. 

The Gala night had a lot of surprises with Africa Film Academy and Ethiopia Airline partnering to fly out Patience Ozokwor to Dallas, for an event.

Ethiopian Airlines gave gifts the  stars  Ken Erics Ugo, Rachael Okonkwo, the Aneke twins, Nnaemeka Charles Eze (Nani Boy).  Hon. Barr. Chima Obieze, Don. Sylvester Chinedu Nwaeke and Chief Kenneth Anike, received the  Africa Film Academy special recognition  for support to film industry. 

Inducted in to the Africa Film Academy  Gold Patrons Club were: Hon Amos Oshi who is building a film village in Enugu and has been supporting  film makers in Nigeria and Chief Alexander Chukwudimma Nwokeabia. HRH  Igwe Edwin Edeoga was also inducted into  the Africa Film Academy  platinum  Patrons Club. 

The Speaker Enugu House of Representatives, Edward Ubosi, was inducted into the Platinum Patrons Club.  The club is a membership to individuals who support the advancement of the work of the Africa Film Academy programmes in Africa cinema, especially training and canvassing the inclusion of African cinema for all.

Jim Jermanok spoke on the workshop, hailing the organizers. He affirmed that the Nigerian film industry has a lot of untapped potentials and that with the knowledge gained from the workshop, participants will be charged up to be better filmmakers. 

He took time out to appreciate the hospitality of the organizers and indeed the good people of Enugu. He confessed that the nation is indeed one that is blessed with good people. He also admitted that he had the best of mouth watering meals.

Finally, the Speaker Enugu State House of Representatives, Edward Ubosi, accented to look into the plea and request of the from South East  Filmmakers  on Building a film village in Enugu, which will not only put Enugu on the creative map but also create a value chain of opportunities in the creative and entertainment industry.

28 May 2019

Egbe Nana Series with/avec Angela Aquereburu (Togo)

Egbe Nana Series with/avec Angela Aquereburu (Togo)
27 May 2019
Source: YouTube []

Egbe Nana: Nous vous emmenons découvrir une femme épatante. Authentique de par son look et d’une simplicité assez remarquable. Angela AQUEREBURU, puisque c’est d’elle qu’il s’agit, marque de manière indélébile le cinéma togolais. Elle est réalisatrice de séries télé et Directrice de YOBO STUDIOS.

Egbe Nana: In this episode you will discover an amazing woman. She is authentic, with quite remarkable simplicity. Angela AQUEREBURU, who is featured here, has made an indelible mark on Togolese cinema. She directs TV series and is Director of YOBO STUDIOS.

27 May 2019

Black Camera: Safi Faye's Mossane: A Song to Women, to Beauty, to Africa by Beti Ellerson (Spring 2019)

Safi Faye's Mossane:
A Song to Women, to Beauty, to Africa
Beti Ellerson 
Black Camera: An International Film Journal
African Women in Cinema Dossier
Vol. 10, No. 2 (Spring 2019), pp. 250-265


Mossane (dir. Safi Faye), completed in 1990 and released in 1996, is a timeless piece. That is the nature of legends, of myths, of allegories. Destiny has been inscribed, fate already determined. Having created a narrative imbued in Serer mythology, structured around the fate of a fourteen-year-old girl, who because of her stunning beauty, is returned to the Pangool spirits through the waters of the Mamangueth, Safi Faye’s cinematic endeavor was to decide in what way to tell the story and how to visualize it. This article frames the film Mossane within the context of Faye’s corpus of works, especially as it relates to prevailing themes that foreground women’s experiences within the rural sector and countryside, socio-economic matters, education, issues at the intersection of tradition and modernity, rituals and ceremonies and the importance of oral tradition as a foundation for visual storytelling. Set in Faye's Serer homeland, Mossane compares to her early Serer-focused films that draw its cast/participants from the village. While it is her only film in which the scenario and narrative are entirely fictionalized, the themes of class, the quotidian experiences of the rural-dwellers, oral tradition, struggles based on land and nature, the storyteller, are recurrent topics in Faye’s oeuvres. In addition, the article speaks to the manner in which Mossane addresses the right of women to have power over their own bodies and desires and the choice to marry who they choose, by framing the analysis of women's rights in the context of the broader discourse on the peasantry, education, custom and modernity. 
The Legend
Myth, oral tradition, storytelling
Visualizing the ancestral spirits, the Pangools
Yandé Codou Sène: the griotic voice of history and conscience
The peripatetic beggar boy as metaphor
A song to beauty
Beauty’s oppositionality
An ode to women
The quiet empowerment of rural-dwelling women
Lessons learned, lessons taught


26 May 2019

Cannes 2019: Mati Diop receives/reçoit le Grand Prix

Cannes 2019 - Mati Diop
 Le Grand Prix for /pour Atlantique

Franco-Senegalese Mati Diop receives the Grand Prix at the Festival de Cannes for her film Atlantique. Images: Festival de Cannes

Franco-Senegalaise Mati Diop reçoit le Grand Prix du Festival de Cannes pour son film Atlantique.


Mati Diop : Atlantique (Cannes 2019)

Mati Diop’s Atlantique analysis/analyse by/par Falila Gbadamassi

Mati Diop: "It was very important for me to dedicate a film to this ghost generation" | "C'était très important pour moi de dédier un film à cette génération fantôme". Interview/Entretien by/par Falila Gbadamassi

22 May 2019

Cannes 2019: Maïmouna N'Diaye, member of the jury | membre du jury: interview/entretien by/par Falila Gbadamassi (AfriqueFrance Télévisions)

Cannes 2019: Maïmouna N'Diaye
member of the jury | membre du jury interview/entretien by/par Falila Gbadamassi (AfriqueFrance Télévisions)

Translated excerpts from interview in French by Falila Gbadamassi. AfriqueFrance Télévisions. 13 05 2019

Choice of pursuing a career in Africa rather than Europe:

I admit that I was very lucky. I grew up in Africa, studied in Europe and then came back to the continent. It is indeed a choice, because at one point in my career in Europe, I felt that I had more to gain by working in Africa and I wanted to do things from the continent. It seemed obvious to me.

When I finished my studies, I worked in TV series and feature films in France. And then, there was an off-peak and rather than waiting for roles that did not come, I thought it would be better to collaborate with directors on the continent. And to avoid having to wait between films and because I like to be active, I embarked on the production of documentaries. I have roles in the theatre, in TV series and in the cinema. I am always on the move, because I need it. In addition, if the film industry is to develop, African filmmakers must be allowed to work on location with us.

As ambassador of Fespaco in 2019: Its evolution at the 50th anniversary

There are many things that have changed and others not so much. This year, I had the great honour of being the image of the fiftieth anniversary of Fespaco (Pan-African Festival of Film and Television). This was a privilege for several reasons: First, it is a pan-African festival, my diverse background and my cultural identities echo this [born in Paris of a Senegalese father and a Nigerien mother, grew up in Guinea, lived in France, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal before settling in Burkina Faso]. So I feel that I am at home in all of these places, and am very comfortable. I am international, pan-African and of African descent. I do not see my colour, but I know my cultures. Then, L’Œil du cyclone | The Eye of the Hurricane (2015) and the 12 awards that I received worldwide, and the film itself which received 80, certainly played an important part.

I think that the place of women in our African cinemas has evolved a great deal. They are more and more present in films, even if their roles remain stereotypes, whereas there are other characters to embody. On the technical side, the situation has also changed. It started with women directors, women cinematographers, sound and lighting engineers… They have pushed to be recognised and have asserted themselves in this environment of men. The advent of digital technology has helped to facilitate access to women. They are not only makeup artists, scriptwriters or editors. At this level, the situation has really evolved and it is a pleasure.

…at the level of productions, [African] filmmakers sometimes lack imagination or they do not want to take the time to unleash their imagination. I think that cinema has to make you dream, reflect and, why not, change mentalities or give another point of view. However, I find that we are still too close to what people live on a daily basis. I am a documentary filmmaker, so I will not criticize such an approach. Simply, I think that fiction must go beyond this.

Africans do not always want to see their reality in film, they want to be projected into another reality. People, young people especially, go to see foreign films because, in fact, they allow them to dream, they are taken elsewhere. Our cinema needs to get there. Our films must be seen in Africa and beyond, like all other productions. We have to make films, period! Even if we talk about African cinema, which is often classified as such, ultimately, a good film is a good film. We have to get there and we will succeed. The youth is on the way!

The regional disparity between Maghreb cinema/English-speaking countries and francophone regions in West and Central Africa

We need to understand in the francophone region that cinema is a real industry and that we must put in place genuine cultural policies so that cinema is funded at the level that it merits. Our policies must recognise that cinema pays. It is an idea that does not seem to get through.

Shooting a film involves setting up teams of women and men who, through their work, can support their families. I think that investing in cinema prevents us from having to sacrifice the education of young girls for the benefit of boys. To fund girls' education is to see what they are capable of! As long as cinema is only considered entertainment, we will not get there.

Djia Mambu, journalist and film critic | journaliste et critique de cinéma (Cannes 2019)

Djia Mambu, journalist and film critic
journaliste et critique de cinéma

Source: Le film français: le premier magazine web des professionals de l'audiovisuel. 19 mai 2019. Excerpts translated from French of an interview by Kevin Bertrand
Image: Semaine de la Critique - Cannes © Photo : Élise Ortiou Campion

EN FRANÇAIS: Les déjeuners du Film français à la Plage des Palmes avec Djia Mambu par Kevin Bertrand

Djia Mambu comes to Cannes in two capacities: at the invitation of the We Build Change programme and as jury member of the Semaine de la critique.

[To be a member] is a real privilege, especially as I am the first black African woman to be a part of this jury. For me it is very important, it is a wonderful message. Since only the first and second oeuvres are selected at the Semaine de la critique, we as a jury may, perhaps, launch a future "great" filmmaker. That is also important.

[VisuElles], I have always wanted to do something related to cinema. The idea was launched at the end of 2017 with the crisis around the Weinstein affair, of #metoo ... A window opened, and I took the opportunity to concretise this idea in the bilingual capital of Canada, Ottawa. There are already women's film festivals, but VisuElles is the only bilingual festival. We organised the first edition over three days, with only women-directed films… My next challenge is distribution. Contrary to 10 or 15 years ago, African content is no longer lacking. On the other hand, there is a problem of spaces for screening films. Outside of festivals, it is very difficult to see these films.

21 May 2019

Cannes 2019: Maryam Touzani's "Adam" (Morocco)

Cannes 2019: Maryam Touzani's Adam (Morocco)

Adam, the first feature film by Moroccan director, Maryam Touzani, in competition in the category "Un certain regard" at the 72nd Festival de Cannes, competing for the "Caméra d'or".

Excerpts from an interview with Maryam Touzani by Kaoutar Laili. HuffPost Maroc. Translation from French. Images: Festival de Cannes.

Adam is the story of a somewhat fortuitous encounter between two women in the medina of Casablanca. The kind of unexpected encounter, as destiny knows so well and that can change the course of a life. Samia is a single, pregnant mother who comes from the countryside to give her child up for adoption. She is welcomed in the home of a young widow, Abla, struggling to make ends meet with her 8-year-old daughter, having lost the taste of life since the death of her husband. Together, the two women make a genuine inner journey of rebuilding, by moving towards each other.

 ...I wanted to share a vision of society through these characters. Adam is an intimist film, centered on the inner experiences of two women. Here the action is not very important, the main focus is the inner journey of the two women and  little girl. My only desire was to tell this film as sincerely as possible and be able to communicate my vision.

[The title of the film] Adam, like the first man, the man who must also sometimes ask questions and return to the origin. For me, it is also a way to recall who ultimately carries life: the woman. Every new life, whether male or female, is carried by a woman. It is thus a reflection that examines the place of the man and that of the woman in our society. It is essential to ask oneself these questions and there are many ways to ask them.

20 May 2019

Mati Diop: "It was very important for me to dedicate a film to this ghost generation" | "C'était très important pour moi de dédier un film à cette génération fantôme". Interview/Entretien by/par Falila Gbadamassi (Africine, Cannes 2019)

Mati Diop: "It was very important for me to dedicate a film to this ghost generation" | "C'était très important pour moi de dédier un film à cette génération fantôme". Interview/Entretien by/par Falila Gbadamassi

In collaboration with, translated from French by Beti Ellerson and published on the African Women in Cinema Blog. 

05/19/2019. Images : Festival de Cannes 
French-Senegalese filmmaker Mati Diop's Atlantique, in competition at the 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival. The fiction offers an original point of view of the Senegalese youth who embark on the fatal crossing to reach the European coasts. 

Falila Gbadamassi: You recognised the extent of this illegal emigration by sea in 2008 during a stay in Senegal. For you, in fact, evoking this subject could be done only through the angle of "mythology" as you call it?

Mati Diop: Absolutely! It is a good start because I make a film when I feel that I have a personal and unique contribution to offer to the debate. If it is to make another film about illegal immigration, it's not worth it. Indeed, cinema, gives me extraordinary, magical and powerful tools to tell things differently. I try to benefit from the infinite power that cinema offers. It is really fortunate to have such an extraordinary medium; it's really a magical power!

When you thought about the fantastical element of your film, did the idea of ​​the jinn immediately come to you or did you first explore other ideas?

First, the fact that the lost-at-sea are unburied gave me the idea to bring them back. "Unburied" is associated with "wandering": this belief is universal. Then, the question of what form to give to these ghosts was posed: would they return in flesh and bones out of the ocean, in the form of holograms? There were a variety of ways to bring them back. But I wanted the form of these ghosts to coincide with the culture of Senegal, among others, Muslim. I was very seduced by the djinn imaginary (spirits, in the Muslim culture) and "faru rab" (husbands of the night) who are djinn lovers. Visually, I imagined the djinn lover to enter through the woman’s navel, to possess her and leave. These stories fascinate me. I discovered them gradually during my trips to Dakar. I was inspired by this fantasy especially as it corresponded to the idea that these ghosts are born, in a way, in the imagination of these women (that the contenders initially leave behind them). For me, ghosts are first born in us, it is through our memory that we make them return. It is the imagination that creates ghosts. After, their white eyes, the fever is a physical manifestation of their presence (especially in the film). In Muslim and African culture too, I believe, there are specific hours when spirits come out. I was told these stories when I was a child. As a filmmaker, knowing that at a precise moment, something invisible is supposed to happen, it drives me crazy!

Your film appears as an ode to this exuberant African youth. Was it really your intention to pay tribute to this Senegalese youth?

I especially wanted to pay homage to this youth vanished at sea. This is my primary intention because it was very important for me to dedicate a film to this lost generation, ghost, while giving it life through the living. It is also a way of making sense out of their actions. They have not reached Spain (destination targeted by young Senegalese who go to sea), their dream... But maybe they are for many of those in the riots of 2012 (Note by Africine: especially driven by young Senegalese who opposed a new term of the incumbent President Abdoulaye Wade). Having disappeared at sea, these young people may have allowed the rebirth of a new youth. Anyway, I like to think that these young people who rebelled in 2012 during the “Dakarois Spring” carry in them these missing ones, and that the missing also took something of them when leaving.

Besides, I did not want to make this youth a monolith. I wanted to take into account its diversity and complexity and to show through the characters of the film, the myriad Senegalese, Muslim, American, European influences. Influences related to new technologies, ancestral beliefs. Young people are at the crossroads of so many realities. This breeding ground is incredibly fertile.

This metaphysical dimension that you explore in the cinema, do you believe in it personally?

I believe in fiction!

The filming took place in the dust of Dakar, the Senegalese capital. The atmosphere of the city is too, rendered very well. How did you shoot in this jam-packed city?

The best we could (laughs)! The shooting of Mille soleils (Thousand Suns, 2013, a documentary made in Dakar) went very well. It was nevertheless very physically demanding. On the scale of a feature film, I was very concerned about the level of difficulty. The Senegalese, themselves, thought it was crazy to shoot in Thiaroye (suburb of Dakar). However, we did not have as many obstacles as one would have imagined. I must say that filming there gives me more energy than what one would have imagined otherwise. 

As the first African woman filmmaker to be in the running for the Palme d'Or, you are a pioneer...


Yes, in spite of yourself. And you belong to a filmmaking family. There is your renowned uncle, Djibril Diop Mambéty whose film Touki Bouki is also at the heart of your documentary Thousand Suns. There is also your father, Wasis Diop, a musician who has authored famous soundtracks, including those of his brother. All this is part of a continuity that seems consistent.

Consistent, I don’t know. But it is a personal continuation that I chose to make. I am fortunate to have inherited an extremely strong and inspiring history, while at the same time feeling very free to write my own story. It is the most beautiful legacy: to continue while reinventing and remaining oneself. The best way to pay homage to the work of my uncle and my father is to continue the path in my own way, with the tools of my generation.

And to represent Senegal: the link to your African origins is quite strong. You have even said that it was the impetus of your desire to make films.

It does not mean that all my films will take place in Senegal. However, my relationship to cinema is intertwined with my Africanity.


Mati Diop : "C'était très important pour moi de dédier un film à cette génération fantôme". Entretien par Falila Gbadamassi

La cinéaste franco-sénégalaise Mati Diop signe Atlantique, film en compétition pour la 72e édition du Festival de Cannes. La fiction offre un point de vue original sur la funeste traversée des jeunes Sénégalais pour rejoindre les côtes européennes. Lire l'intégralité de l'article @

"Papicha: Mounia Meddour in resistance mode" | "Papicha : Mounia Meddour en mode résistance" analysis/analyse by/par Falila Gbadamassi (Africine)

"Papicha: Mounia Meddour in resistance mode" "Papicha : Mounia Meddour en mode résistance" analysis/analyse by/par Falila Gbadamassi (Africine)

In collaboration with, translated from French by Beti Ellerson and published on the African Women in Cinema Blog.


To resist with needle in hand. This is the pulsating exposé that the filmmaker Mounia Meddour delivers in Papicha, the film representing Algeria at Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival.

Nedjma (Lyna Khoudri) is a young Algerian student living on a university campus. In the early 1990s, Algeria saw the first hours of a civil war between the state and Islamic terrorists. The "dark decade", as it will be called later, left thousands of Algerian families in bereavement. But festivities are still going on at the start of Papicha, the first feature film by the Algerian director. With her friend Wassila (Shirine Boutella), they have quietly left the city to party and to sell the creations of Nedjma, a budding stylist, to the "papichas", the nickname for "pretty young Algerian girls". It is still the time of insouciance.

The police roadblocks and the posters pasted on the walls of the university buildings which demand that women wear the veil, nonetheless suggest that this époque will soon see its epilogue. The filmmaker alternates the scenes of a seemingly immutable day-to-day life with those indicating that because of the violence, the world of Nedjma and that of all Algerians is falling apart.

The student and her friend have the same problems as all the young women in the world. However, finding solutions is increasingly complex in a society that is becoming more and more conservative. This noxious atmosphere is a source of trauma for Nedjma, especially when tragedy arrives at her door. She then takes refuge in sewing. The needle and haik, a large fabric that Algerian women use to cover their bodies, will now be their weapons to challenge those who restrict women's rights on a daily basis. The show she intends to organise is conceived of as a political demonstration against all those extremists who want to put her and her fellow comrades in their place.

Nedjma's character is a figure of resistance like those Algerian women who hid in their famous haik, their weapons against French settlers during the war of independence. The use of this cloth brings about one of the most beautiful scenes of the film when Nedjma's mother explains it to her daughters. Mounia Meddour, inspired by the pain of exile imposed on her family by the dark decade, delivers a story to the glory of all the young girls, women and feminists who have stood up, who stand up and who rise in Algeria in order to preserve and guarantee their legitimate right to self-determination.

Papicha : Mounia Meddour en mode résistance 

Résister l'aiguille à la main. C'est la vibrante démonstration que livre la cinéaste Mounia Meddour dans Papicha, film représentant l'Algérie à Un Certain Regard au Festival de Cannes.

Nedjma (Lyna Khoudri) est une jeune étudiante algéroise qui réside en cité universitaire. Au début des années 90, l'Algérie vit les premières heures d'une guerre civile qui oppose l'Etat aux terroristes islamistes. La décennie noire, comme on l'appellera plus tard, endeuillera des milliers de familles algériennes. Mais l'heure est encore à la fête quand démarre Papicha, le premier long métrage de fiction de la réalisatrice algérienne. Avec son amie Wassila (Shirine Boutella), elles ont encore quitté la cité en douce pour aller faire la fête et vendre les créations de Nedjma, styliste en herbe, aux "papichas", surnom des "jolies jeunes filles algéroises". C'est encore le temps de l'insouciance. Lire l'intégralité de l'article @

18 May 2019

Mati Diop’s "Atlantique" – In the foam of the "Atlantic” | Dans l'écume de l "Atlantique" analysis/analyse by/par Falila Gbadamassi (Africine)

Mati Diop’s "Atlantique" – In the foam of the "Atlantic" | Dans l'écume de l' "Atlantique" analysis/analyse by/par Falila Gbadamassi (Africine)

In collaboration with, translated from French by Beti Ellerson and published on the African Women in Cinema Blog.

EN FRANÇAIS : 05/17/2019

French-Senegalese filmmaker Mati Diop contemplates the emigration of young Africans—through the angle of fantasy. Atlantique gives homage to the memory of a generation lost in the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Atlantique is in competition for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. A first for an afrodescendant woman.

In the suburbs of Dakar, the Senegalese capital, Ada (Mame Bineta Sané) loves Sulaiman (Ibrahima Traore). And though Souleiman loves Ada, she will soon marry another. Nonetheless, they continue their clandestine rendezvous in a nightclub adjoining the sea, but on this night, Suleiman does not show up. He has taken to the sea with his friends, at the end of a devastating workday. Looming smugly on the site is the building that the young workers are erecting—though they still have not received their pay. As Suleiman points out, despite their hard work, they have become indebted men, who return late at night to evade their numerous creditors.

For her first feature film, Mati Diop is an advocate of the unemployed youth, a youth for which emigration to Europe by sea becomes the only option. Filmed from all angles, this dangerous Atlantic Ocean is a full-fledged character of the film: the director posed her camera, in the wafts of dust of Dakar, a city teeming with life and on which hovers the shadow of death, caused by a tumultuous sea. The filmmaker also reflects on the daily life of the young women and men: the young women seeking to build a future through marriage, or content to wait for the young men, who, in spite of themselves, choose the sea, in the hopes of opening other horizons, even if it means to die doing so.

Atlantique is inhabited by the strength of the originality of its scenario. Mati Diop treats the issue of clandestine immigration from a mystical viewpoint, summoning the jinn (the spirits of the Muslim imaginary) to address one of the reasons for this perilous risk-taking: the lack of perspective for many young Senegalese even when they have a job. Tangentially, the film denounces those who exploit them, rather than simply paying them the equivalent of the fruits of their labor.

In the meantime, Ada is waiting for Suleiman, who seems to have returned to the capital. However, she is not the only one to pursue him. The police, embodied in particular by the dashing inspector Issa (Amadou Mbow), is also on his tracks because of a mysterious fire that broke out in Ada’s bridal chamber.

In addition to the police investigation interrogation, Mati Diop asks her own questions. What happens to the souls of all those who perished in this great blue vastness that they sometimes saw from their room? What are their final hopes? By presenting their thoughts and their relationships with the living, the filmmaker delivers her own response, plunging the viewer into a magical haze: thanks, among other things, to the repetition of images that return to the sea. Her elder and compatriot, the poet Birago Diop, did he not already say that the dead were not dead? ... In Atlantique, they are in the foam of the sea.

Dans l'écume de l' "Atlantique"
Un film de Mati Diop analyse par Falila Gbadamassi
publié le 17/05/2019.

La cinéaste franco-sénégalaise Mati Diop traite de l'émigration des jeunes Africains sous l'angle du fantastique. Atlantique salue la mémoire d'une génération perdue dans les vagues de l'océan Atlantique. Le film vaut à sa réalisatrice de devenir une pionnière du cinéma africain : elle est la première femme du continent à être en compétition pour la Palme d'Or. Lire l'intégralité de l'article @

17 May 2019

Mati Diop : Atlantique (Cannes 2019)

Mati Diop : Atlantique (Cannes 2019)

English:  Synopsis and trailer below

Français: Synopsis et bande annonce ci-après

Image : Reuters

En français: France 24 :

"The question of exile is a mirror between Africa and the West. And being mixed-race, it is the central channel for my concerns."

"I wanted to give voice to the actors of this migration phenomenon, which is represented by others in a destructive, despised, mutilated way."

"I am here at Cannes because of the struggles of many women who worked for parity between women and men."

"I have a mad love for my country, Senegal. It is a place that inspires me immensely--photographically and cinematographically."

Translation from French of an RFI interview by Elisabeth Lequeret at Cannes 2019
En français: RFI :

"The film was born from the realisation that it was through fantasy that I wanted to tell a certain story of the disappeared at sea. And this particular fantasy is inherent in the reality which I observed and which I interpreted as such at that moment. And it was a period when I also began to consider the ocean differently, where the notion of the ocean as a tomb came to me. It's something that is part of the imagination of a certain black-Creole-Caribbean history. And there was a certain intuition. An intuition that emerged when in Dakar in 2009 and feeling the mysterious and disturbing links between the slave trade, colonisation and illegal immigration."

"This film is also a return to my African origins. And to write and invent the character of Ada, it is also a way of living the African adolescence that I did not experience."

"I love the love stories of cinema and when I started to write this love story, I realised that I did not have the reference of a black mythical couple such as "Romeo and Juliet", and I found that completely insane and it gave me even more of a desire to write this story and see it in the cinema."

English Trailer

Along the Atlantic coast, a soon-to-be-inaugurated futuristic tower looms over a suburb of Dakar. Ada, 17, is in love with Souleimane, a young construction worker. But she has been promised to another man. One night, Souleimane and his co-workers disappear at sea. Soon after, they come back to haunt their old neighbourhood by taking possession of the girlfriends they left behind. Some of the workers have come claiming revenge and threaten to burn the tower down if the developer does not pay their wages. But Souleiman has come back for Ada, so they can be together one last time.

Français bande annonce 

Dans une banlieue populaire de Dakar, les ouvriers du chantier d’une tour futuriste, sans salaire depuis des mois, décident de quitter le pays par l’océan pour un avenir meilleur. Parmi eux se trouve Souleiman, l’amant d’Ada, promise à un autre. Quelques jours après le départ des garçons, un incendie dévaste la fête de mariage de la jeune femme et de mystérieuses fièvres s'emparent des filles du quartier. Ada est loin de se douter que Souleiman est revenu.


Mati Diop’s "Atlantique" – In the foam of the "Atlantic” | Dans l'écume de l' "Atlantique" analysis/analyse by/par Falila Gbadamassi (Africine)

13 May 2019

Cannes 2019 : African Women at Cannes | La présence africaine au féminin

Cannes 2019 :
African Women at Cannes
La présence africaine au féminin

Jury Longs-metrages | Features
Maïmouna N’Diaye: Franco-guinéenne actrice et réalisatrice | French-Guinean actress and filmmaker

Jury Caméra d'Or
Alice Diop: Franco-sénégalaise réalisatrice |
Franco-Senegalese filmmaker

Semaine de la critique
Djia Mambu: Belgo-congolaise journaliste et critic du cinéma | Belgian-Congolese journalist at film critic


Competition Longs-métrages | Features
Mati Diop (France|Senegal) Atlantique, 2019. 104 min.

Un certain regard
Mounia Meddour (Algérie|Algeria) Papicha, 2019. 106 min.

Monia Chokri (Canada-Tunisia) La Femme de mon frère, 2019. 117 min 

Maryam Touzani (Maroc|Morocco) Adam, 2019. 98 min.


Competition - Shorts | Courts métrages 
Nada Riyadh (Egypte) Fakh, 2019. 20 min.

Comité de séléction | Selection Committee :
Clémentine Dramani-Issifou : Franco-Beninoise chercheuse et curatrice indépendante de films | French-Beninese researcher and independent film curator )

Séance Spéciale - Longs métrages | Features
Hafsia Herzi (Tunisia-Algeria-France) Tu mérites un amour (You Deserve a Lover), 2019. 102 min.


Kantarama Gahigiri is a Rwandan-Swiss filmmaker. Her first feature film Tapis Rouge has received awards worldwide, including TV5Monde Best Picture, followed by a theatrical release in France in May 2017. She is now developing Tanzanite, an Afrofuturistic thriller that takes place in colorful Nairobi, and she participated in Realness, an African screenwriters’ residency, with the film.


Comité de séléction | Selection Committee :
Claire Diao : Franco-Burkinabé journaliste et critic du cinéma | French-Burkinabé journalist and film critic


IEFTA in partnership with the Marché du Film 
IEFTA en partenariat avec le Marché du film
Marwa ZeinSudanese director-producer, is among the seven young filmmakers attending the festival | La cinéaste-productrice soudanaise fait partie des sept jeunes cinéastes assistants au festival.

IEFTA (International Emerging Film Talent Association) once again partners with the renowned Marché du Film at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival to offer seven young filmmakers the opportunity to attend the festival, participate in career-changing Industry Workshops, develop their projects, build their networks and raise their ambitions.

L’IEFTA (International Emerging Film Talent Association) s'associe à nouveau au célèbre Marché du Film lors du 72ème Festival de Cannes pour offrir à sept jeunes réalisateurs la possibilité de assister au festival, de participer à des ateliers de réorientation professionnel, de développer leurs projets, de  construire leurs réseaux et réaliser leurs ambitions.


Cannes 2019: Mati Diop receives/reçoit le Grand Prix

Cannes 2019: Maïmouna N'Diaye, member of the jury | membre du jury: interview/entretien by/par Falila Gbadamassi (AfriqueFrance Télévisions)

Mati Diop: "It was very important for me to dedicate a film to this ghost generation" | "C'était très important pour moi de dédier un film à cette génération fantôme". Interview/Entretien by/par Falila Gbadamassi (Africine, Cannes 2019)

"Papicha: Mounia Meddour in resistance mode" | "Papicha : Mounia Meddour en mode résistance" analysis/analyse by/par Falila Gbadamassi (Africine)

Djia Mambu, journalist and film critic | journaliste et critique de cinéma (Cannes 2019)

Cannes 2019: Maryam Touzani's "Adam" (Morocco)

Mati Diop’s "Atlantique" – In the foam of the "Atlantic” | Dans l'écume de l' "Atlantique" analysis/analyse by/par Falila Gbadamassi (Africine)

Mati Diop : Atlantique (Cannes 2019)

02 May 2019

Akissi Delta: TV Series - Ma Grande Famille (Côte d'Ivoire)

Akissi Delta:  TV Series - Ma Grande Famille (Côte d'Ivoire)

Ma Grande Famille, produced by Akissa Delta, returned in 2016 with the new name after a long pause of the record-breaking Ma Famille. Launched in 2002 it was broadcast every Sunday evening.

Since 15 January 2019, the new Ivoirian channel A+Ivoire, broadcasts the first season of the TV series.

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