Cannes Film Fest 2019: Atlantique–First Film by Black Woman in Official Compeition

The Sengelese film Atlantique, set in a suburb of Dakar, follows a person who disappears at sea, then returns with some of his colleagues to haunt their previous neighborhood.

Atlantique is directed by French-Sengelese actress-director, Mati Diop.

Diop is the niece of the late legendary filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambéty, a Cannes alum who won the International Film Critics Award for his 1973 movie Touki Bouki.

Diop’s movie will be competing for the coveted major prize, the Palme d’Or. This marks the very first time a black female director has been selected in the main competition.

“Over the past 20 years, there have been about 90 films by non-white POC to contend in Cannes most important levels of competition, compared to 5 by black directors.