Souleymane Cissé

Source: Cannes Film Festival

Souleymane Cissé

Malian filmmaker Souleymane Cissé will receive the Carrosse d’Or award of the French directors guild La Société des Réalisateurs (SRF) at the 55th edition of the Cannes’ Directors Fortnight strand which runs May 16-27.

The director will be honoured with the award, which recognises filmmakers for their “innovative qualities”, at the opening ceremony on May 17.

Cisse’s career has spanned over 50 years with his work having screened at Cannes six times. His 1987 drama Yelen picked up the jury prize at the festival when it played in competition. 

SRF board members signed a letter to Cissé that read: “Blending poetry and politics, social criticism and mythology, both rooted in the multisecular culture of your country, Mali, and open to the world in its pluriversal dimension, your body of work has made a deep mark on our cinephilia. (…) Your courage, so remarkable if we think about the dictatorial political climate in which you directed your first three feature films, Den Muso, Baara and Finye, fills us with admiration.

“While speaking out about the oppression of poor people, women and dissidents, and confronting the yoke of conservatism in all its forms–religious, economic and patriarcal–, you have nonetheless always refrained from using ideology to make art and have embraced with infinite grace the nuances and contradictions of human nature in order to express values which travel through space and time.” 

The SRF board is made up of Barbara Balestas Kazazian, Antoine Barraud, Thomas Bidegain, Malik Chibane, Romain Cogitore, Catherine Corsini, Aïssa Diaby, Chloé Duval, Frédéric Farrucci, Marine Francen, Aurélia Georges, Élisabeth Jonniaux, Vergine Keaton, Cédric Klapisch, Sylvain Pioutaz, Lola Quivoron, Axelle Ropert, Thomas Salvador, Pierre Salvadori, Claire Simon, Éléonore Weber, Denis Walgenwitz, and Zoé Wittock. 

The Carrosse d’Or award was first given out in 2002 and has honoured Martin Scorsese, Jane Campion, Clint Eastwood and Werner Herzog among other prolific directors.

Last month, the new artistic director of Cannes Director’s Fortnight Julien Rejl announced a revamped version of the strand which included a new selection committee and a new French-language name (La Quinzaine des Cinéastes) to better promote gender equality.