Film
Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage via Getty Images.

Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage via Getty Images.

Cannes 2019: Mati Diop Snags Grand Prix Award and a Netflix Acquisition for 'Atlantique'

The Senegalese-French filmmaker has surely made her mark as the 72nd Cannes Festival comes to a close.

This year's Cannes Film Festival came to a end this past weekend with jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu presenting the awards for the competition program, un certain regard and other prizes.

Mati Diop's Atlantique was the film to watch during the festival, as the Senegalese-French filmmaker is the first black woman to be included in the competition. Diop and Malian filmmaker Ladj Ly were the only African filmmakers in this year's competition as well (Ly took home the Jury Prize for his film Les Misérables, tied with Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles' film Bacurau).

Diop surely made her mark at the festival, winning the Grand Prix award for the film, Variety reports.


Atlantique gives commentary on the migrant/refugee crisis and "tells the story of a young woman from Dakar whose lover has mysteriously disappeared. Believed to be dead, he returns to the Senegalese village."

"Though it deals with these issues, it also felt personal and vulnerable, very emotional and just quite precious," juror Elle Fanning says to Variety, calling it "a beautiful fable."

Take a look at a clip from the film below.

ATLANTICS by Mati Diop | Clip 2 | GeoMovies youtu.be

More eyes will have the opportunity to watch Atlantique soon, as Netflix acquired the film for global rights outside of China, Benelux, Switzerland, Russia and France, IndieWire reports. Ly's film has also been acquired by Amazon.

The release dates for both have yet to be announced.

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Still from 'Road to Yesterday'

Kayode Kasum’s Quarantine Watchlist

From 'Wives on Strike' to 'Goodwill Hunting' here's what the Nigerian filmmaker is watching while stuck at home in Lagos.

Kayode Kasum, like most filmmakers, has been stagnated by the coronavirus pandemic. The director behind the blockbuster Sugar Rush and the critically acclaimed Oga Bolaji was working on the post-production of his upcoming movies, The Fate of Alakada: Party Planner and Kambili—a collaboration between FilmOne Entertainment and Chinese Huahua Media— when the Nigerian government announced the lockdown order.

While post-production on Alakada has concluded, the stay-at-home orders have delayed work on Kambili. "Since the team cannot meet at a single point, we are moving hard drives left and right," he says to me over the phone from his home in Lagos. "It is a challenge, but the beautiful thing about a challenge is, when you make it work, it is fulfilling."

Still from 'Kambili'

Kasum has turned to books and films for an escape from the unpleasant realities of the pandemic. "I have been reading Elnathan's books: Born on a Tuesday and Becoming Nigeria," he tells me. "I have also been reading film directing books, Directing Actors by Judith Weston." However, Kasum longs for the movies. "I miss going to the cinemas; I miss that experience," he says. "There are times during this pandemic that I'm like 'na wa o, I wish I can go to the cinema.'"

Below are five films he recommends you watch during this pandemic.

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