A French-Senegalese actress and director, Mati Diop is the first black female director to win an award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Thus, she has broken a record of seventy-two years.
The actress took home the Grand Prix, which is the equivalent of a silver prize, for her film titled ‘Atlantics’. The movie is a Senegalese drama about sexual politics among young migrants.
The Grand Prix award was given by the jury of the festival on one of the competing feature films. The Grand Prix is the second-most prestigious prize of the festival after the Palme d’Or.
However, Diop said she was a “little sad” to make history as the first woman of African descent or to even have a film screened at the festival.
Quoting the thirty-six-year-old:
“My first feeling to be the first black female was a little sad that this only happened today in 2019”.
“I knew it as I obviously don’t know any black women who came here before. And I knew it, but it’s always a reminder that so much work needs to be done still”, she said.
The 2019 edition held from the 14th of May till the 25th with Nigeria and other African countries holding the Pavillon Afriques. The Pavillon Afriques is a platform where filmmakers, investor, and other stakeholders meet to discuss the business of film making on the continent.