Senegalese-French youngest film director making waves at Cannes Film Festival

This year’s youngest director in the race for the Palme d’Or, Senegalese-French director Ramata-Toulaye Sy premiered her film debut, “Banel & Adama,” on Saturday. Ramata was born in France to Senegalese parents, she released this romantic film as a tribute to her African culture and also to fill a gap in the cinematic scene.

“All I want, bit by bit, is really to deconstruct, deconstruct the vision of Africa that we have, right down to the position of women in relation to Banel. And that’s why. It’s not a gentle, oppressive character, the black African woman looking for help is expected. Banel, I know she’s very unsympathetic and a lot of people just can’t like her and as much as possible. It’s purely hypothetical and that’s also why we wanted to deconstruct all the codes we know about cinema and Africa,” said Senegalese-French director Ramata-Toulaye Sy.

Banel & Adama is the story of a young couple whose love is tested by the traditions of their village, located in the north of Senegal, on the border with Mauritania.

Ramata now hopes her film at this year’s Cannes film festival will help her gain more recognition.
“We were not expecting this competition in Cannes. We’re competing, it’s a first film, an African film, a surprise film. I know in the articles people always say “Who is she? We don’t know her”.

But I know myself, I’ve been here a long time. I work and I work to be here. I didn’t end up here yesterday, really. I studied cinema, I went to university, I went to La Fémis, I co-wrote feature films. So you didn’t know me. Now I’m know by you,” said Ramata-Toulaye Sy, a French director of Senegalese descent.

The daughter of Senegalese immigrants, Ramata-Toulaye Sy was born in the Paris region, where she spent her childhood. It was on the bench of Fémis, the prestigious film school, that she came up with the idea of ​​​​Banel and

Adama, she presented the script in the graduation competition in 2015.

She wrote it as a tribute to her home culture. But also to fill the obvious lack of representation in the cinematic scene.

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