With her feature film directorial debut with “Atlantic,” in competition and, a world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival this year, Mati Diop becomes the first black woman in the 72-year festival history to have a film in the Competition section, and it is making waves on the film circuit as one to watch.
Diop is one of two African filmmakers represented in competition at Cannes this year, the other is the Malian filmmaker Ladj Ly.
The French-Senegalese filmmaker also has a string of acting credits under her belt making her on-screen debut in Claire Denis’ 35 Shots of Rum. Other credits include Antonio Campos’ Simon Killer.
Her Cannes Competition entry Atlantics, is about a 17-year-old teenager whose lover leaves Senegal by sea hoping to find a better life.
Along the Atlantic coast, a soon-to-be-inaugurated futuristic tower looms over a suburb of Dakar. Ada, 17, is in love with Souleiman, a young construction worker. But she has been promised to another man. One night, Souleiman and his co-workers leave the country by sea, in hope of a better future. Several days later, a fire ruins Ada’s wedding and a mysterious fever starts to spread. Little does Ada know that Souleiman has returned. (Image credit: Picture of the movie © Les Films du Bal – Cinekap – FraKas – Arte France Cinéma- Canal Plus internation)
Diop’s father is the Senegalese jazz musician Wasis Diop, but industry would be more inclined to affiliate her with her Uncle, Djibril Diop Mambéty.
Cannes Film Festival take place in the South of France started on the 14th May running until 25th May 2019. The 2019 line-up feature a large number of female filmmakers with 15 of the movies in Cannes’ official selection and four competition titles directed by women. This increase in females voices has come from the pressure put on the festival to be more inclusive. Atlantic screens today 16th May 2019 at 4pm GRAND THÉÂTRE LUMIÈRE.