the year of directors of African women – afriqueactudaily


French-Senegalese Mati Diop, Algerian Mounia Meddour or Moroccan Maryam Touzani will face Cannes Jim Jarmusch, Marco Bellochio and Pedro Almodovar during a festival whose African emissaries will be exclusively women.

Like every year, it's just under a month before the Cannes festival that its chairman, former Canal + boss Pierre Lescure and his delegate general Thierry Frémaux have revealed the basics of the official selection. And in particular, almost all the films that will have the opportunity, both sought, to participate in the contest for the Palm of Gold and those that will be exhibited as part of the section Un Certain regard.

A selection that gives pride to the great Croisette goers, we will see, but also for the filmmakers, who represent almost a third of the total – the first. The continent is no coincidence, since there are three African films – respectively Senegalese, Algerian and Moroccan – among the lucky ones selected, who have the particularity of being all three film directors; all three too, is not common and is very auspicious for the future, first feature film.

A family affair

On the side of the competition, it is the Franco-Senegalese Mati Diop who will have the privilege of climbing the famous steps of the Palais des Festivals on the red carpet to represent the continent alone with his first feature film, Atlantic. Daughter of musician Wasis Diop, niece of Djibril Diop Mambety, author of the cult film Touki Bouki , for which she devoted a very beautiful medium-sized film (A thousand suns) in 2013, Mati Diop had already made a short film with the same title, and thus announcing the "long" we will see in Cannes. Which of them will propose, far from the usual clichés, a story that evokes in an original way the attempted clandestine migration to Europe of a young Senegalese.

The Algerian Mounia Meddour, who had directed a documentary entitled Algerian cinema, a new breathwill present Papicha in Un Certain regard. A film whose heroine is called Nedjma, like the famous novel by Kateb Yacine. A student who, at the time of the Civil War, refuses to give up the life of a modern and emancipated young woman, has promised a career as a stylist in the fashion world. A posture that leads this Algerian a priori apolitical to discover how one can be quickly considered as an insurgent who will face more than painful trials.

Give voice to invisible women

It is in the same section as Un Un Certain Regard that we will design Adam, the first feature directed by Moroccan actress and screenwriter Maryam Touzani. Partner of the most famous Moroccan filmmaker, Nabil Ayouch, she played one of the first roles in the latter's last film, which she co-authored, a free and transgressive woman, Salima. But she is also the author of two documentaries on the fate of the old Moroccan prostitutes and the small servants in the service of the bourgeoisie. Topics related to her "need to give voice to invisible women". AdamAlong the same lines, he will tell the story of a single mother who intends to adopt her newborn son so he can find a place in society.

These three directors will be in brilliant company in Cannes where, this year, we see, after a less extravagant 2018, a return of the biggest names of the seventh art in the official selection. Among those who will try to win the Palme d'Or are Pedro Almodóvar, Jim Jarmush, Marco Bellochio, Xavier Dolan, Terence Malick or the rare Erza Suleiman. Not to mention these filmmakers already twice "webbed" and who can aim for an absolute record: Ken Loach and the Dardenne brothers. Or Quentin Tarantino, who could join the select, it is said, if he finishes the editing and post-production time of his latest film, still in progress.


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