Abderrahmane Sissako (b. 1961, Kiffa, Mauritania) was raised in his father's
homeland of Mali; in 1980 he rejoined his mother in Nouakchott, Mauritania. A
scholarship to study Russian literature enabled him to attend the Institute of the
University of Moscow and later to enroll in Moscow's Institute for Cinema
(VGIK), where he studied from 1983 to 1989. His desire to become a filmmaker
stemmed from early childhood experiences-his separation from his half brother
and Malian childhood friends, and the loss of his original Bambara language.
His first short film, Le Jeu (1990), presented as a graduation assignment and poorly received by a school jury, eventually went on to receive great acclaim. Sissako settled in France and continued to pursue filmmaking, working in a complex philosophical style that combines personal essay, autobiography, allegory, and drama to explore identity, displacement, and the cultural and economic effects of colonialism in contemporary Africa.
Sissako is one of the few filmmakers from Sub-Saharan Africa to reach a measure of international influence. Timbuktu was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, garnered a 2015 Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, and won seven awards, including Best Director and Best Film in the 2015 Cesar Awards in France.
1989 THE GAME (short)
1992 OCTOBRE (short)
1995 LE CHAMEAU ET LES BÂTONS FLOTTANTS (short)
1996 SABRYA (short)
1997 ROSTOV-LUANDA (documentary)
1998 LIFE ON EARTH
2002 WAITING FOR HAPPINESS
Un Certain Regard, Cannes Film Festival
2006 BAMAKO Out-of-competition, Cannes Film Festival
2007 TIYA’S DREAM / 8 (short)
2008 STORIES ON HUMAN RIGHTS
(segment: N’DIMAGU– DIGNITY)
2010 JE VOUS SOUHAITE LA PLUIE (short)