EXCLUSIVE: The distributor has pounced on US rights to the documentary ahead of tonight’s screening in Cannes Classics.

Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman directed the documentary about the life of Senegal’s Ousmane Sembene, widely considered to be the father of African cinema.

Kino Lorber plans an autumn theatrical release and festival engagements, followed by digital roll-out in 2016.

Gadjigo wrote Sembene’s official biography, Ousmane Sembene: The Making Of A Militant Artist, while Silverman is a producer and the Cinematheque director at the Center For Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The film uses previously unseen archival footage and verité footage of Gadjigo to tell the story of the self-taught novellist who rose from manual labourer to spokesperson for the marginalised.

Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber brokered the deal with The Film Sales Company president Andrew Herwitz and Dan Cogan of Impact Partners.

The Film Sales Company handles world sales and is in talks with international buyers in Cannes.