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Mati Diop        

French Actress & Director Known for "Atlantics"

Mati Diop is a French actress and director who was the first black female director to be nominated for the highest award at Cannes Film Festival: the prestigious Palme d'Or.

Diop, who was born in Paris to a Senegalese family, made her acting debut in 2008 in Claire Denis' film 35 Shots of Rum. In that film, Diop played a young woman who was close to her father and had trouble leaving him behind due to her upcoming marriage.

Diop's directorial debut was in 2004. Her documentary short A Thousand Suns was released in 2013. The film focused on actor Magaye Niang, who was the star of Diop's uncle's seminal feature Touki Bouki (1973) and explained how he had come to live as a farmer. The film played at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and was later also programmed at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

In 2019, she became the first black female director to have her film premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival when her feature debut Atlantics was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or. The film was a fictional adaptation of her documentary short Atlantiques made in 2009, which followed two friends from Senegal as they made a life-threatening boat crossing to Europe. The film won the Grand Prix. It was picked up by Netflix shortly following the Cannes Film Festival.


Meet the First Black Woman in the Cannes Competition Lineup: Mati Diop
Diop has been a festival favorite for years, but her Cannes slot raises her profile in a major way.
Mati Diop Becomes The First Black Woman To Have A Film In The Cannes Film Festival Competition Section

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