Grand Prix winner Mati Diop made history as the first black female director to compete for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in its 72-year history
Senegal has selected Mati Diop’s feature debut Atlantics as the country’s official entry for the Best International Feature Film category to the 92nd Academy Awards.
Atlantics premiered in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the Grand Prix. The film is Diop’s feature directorial debut and she is the first black woman to compete for the Palme d’Or at Cannes. The film went on to play Toronto Film Festival, where Diop was awarded the inaugural Mary Pickford Award, recognizing emerging female talent. Atlantics next screens at BFI London Film Festival, and will debut in the US at the New York Film Festival next week.
Netflix acquired worldwide rights on the film (excluding China, Benelux, Switzerland, Russia, and France) following its debut at Cannes. The film will be released in select theaters on November 15th, and on Netflix on November 29. Producers are Les Films du Bal, Cinekap and Frakas.
Set in Senegal, the film initially follows the blossoming love between young construction worker Souleiman (Ibrahima Traoré), who’s being exploited by his rich boss, and Ada (Mama Sané), about to enter into an unwanted arranged marriage with a wealthier man. Souleiman and his fed-up coworkers soon disappear during an attempt to migrate to Spain in a pirogue, yet somehow his presence is still quite literally felt in Dakar.