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Mati Diop Will Be Presented the Inaugural Mary Pickford Award at TIFF 2019

The Senegalese-French director of "Atlantiques" will be the first to be honored for her exceptional work as a female talent in the film industry.

The 44th Toronto International Film Festival is around the corner, where the premier event continues to transform the way people see the world through film.

The Mary Pickford Award—a new award recognizing top female talent in the film industry—will be presented to none other than Mati Diop, Variety reports.


The Senegalese-French director took Cannes by storm this year with her film Atlantiques, where she also made history being the first black female director to have a feature selected for the competition program at the festival. Mati also took home the Grand Prix award as well as a Netflix acquisition for the film.

Revisiting the synopsis, Atlantiques follows the story of a young woman from Dakar whose lover has mysteriously disappeared. Believed to be dead, he returns to their village in Senegal. The film is meant to be a response to the ongoing migrant/refugee crisis.

Take a look at a clip from the film below.

"Mati Diop's film 'Atlantics' is a profound and unsettling work of art," says, Cameron Bailey, artistic director and co-head of TIFF. "We know this is just the start for such an original and authentic voice, and we're delighted to celebrate her success at this year's TIFF Tribute Gala."

The Toronto International Film Festival kicks off Sept. 5 and runs through Sept. 15.

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Photo by Giles Clarke/UNOCHA via Getty Images

Cameroon Holds Vigil to Remember Children Killed in School Attack

Residents in Kumba paid their respects to the seven lives lost, and those injured during the attack over the weekend.

In the latest tragedy to come from Cameroon's historically violent clash between Anglo and Francophone citizens, seven children were murdered after attackers stormed a school with guns and machetes over the weekend.

In what has been deemed as the "darkest and saddest day," by Bishop Agapitus Nfon of Kumba, armed attackers stormed the Mother Francisca International Bilingual Academy, targeting students aged 9 to 12. The tragic event saw dozens of children injured, some critically.

The attack has shocked the nation, with both local and international agencies condemning the horrible offense. On Monday, Cameroonian President Paul Biya denounced the "horrific murder" of the school children, and alluded to the "appropriate measures" being taken in order to bring justice to the families of the victims. Prime Minister Dion Ngute Joseph shared his condolences via a tweet saying, "I bow before the memory of these innocent kids."

The Cameroonian presidency and governing body have blamed Anglophone 'separatists' for the attack, though the group claims no part in the attack.

Human rights groups, however, have blamed both opposing parties, as the conflict has led to the death of over 3,000 deaths and resulted in more than 700,000 Cameroonians fleeing their homes and the country.

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Interview: Meet Velemseni, Eswatini’s Queen of Soul

Soul artist Velemseni's music reflects Eswatini culture and aesthetics. "The Kingdom of Eswatini is a magical and mysterious place, and my music aims to interpret and document that mystique, drawing from genres like Swazi gospel, soul, African soul, cinematic and traditional music," says the artist.