First Ever Black Female Director Makes It To Cannes

Mati Diop thinks it's 2019, and it's too late for such a moment to occur now


Mati Diop, the first woman of African lineage has made it to the prestigious Cannes Film Festival with her debut feature film, Atlantics.

Atlantics, a movie featuring mostly first time actors, is set in Senegal. The story of the film revolves around migrants who left behind their women, and the aftermath for them to suffer on.

Mati, who believes that hers was an important story to tell, also shared how the choice of actors was crucial for her at the beginning.

“It was really a need, a very urgent need. It [the subject] wasn’t the only motor of the film, because it is not a motor that is enough to write a story, but at the end of the script, I was like ‘Now I want to see these black actors’ … and a lot of people need that,” said Mati who approached most of her first timer cast at Dakkar.

Mati also spoke of the irony that came along the announcement of her inclusion in the 72nd Cannes.

“My first feeling, to be honest, was a little sadness, that this only happens now, today, in 2019. It is pretty late, and it is incredible that it is still an event today,” she said.

“It is always a reminder that so much work needs to be done still,” said the director who along with 21 other female directors has made to one of the most prestigious film festival in the world.

the authorAisha Arshad