Mati Diop, French-Senegalese actress and director, is now the first black female director to win the Grand Prix award in Cannes Film Festival’s 72-year history.
News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that her movie ‘Atlantics’, a Senegalese drama about sexual politics among young migrants, earned her the Grand Prix.
The 2019 edition was held from May 14th to 25th, with Nigeria and other African countries holding the Pavilion Afriques, a platform where filmmakers, investors and other stakeholders in the industry meet to discuss the business of filmmaking in the continent.
36-year-old Diop disclosed that she was a little sad knowing that she was the first woman of African descent to merit the award since the inception of the festival which is a long time ago. “My first feeling to be the first black female director was a little sadness that this only happened today in 2019. I knew it as I obviously don’t know any black women who came here before but it’s always a reminder that so much work needs to be done still,” Mati Diop in Cannes.
South Korean director Bong Joon-ho also made history for clinching the ‘Palme d’Or’, the most prestigious award at Cannes. It was given to the filmmaker for his film ‘Parasite’ a dark comedy that explores the dynamics of social class. Bong is also the first Korean to win Cannes’ top prize although he got a mention at the festival in 2017 for his film ‘Okja’.
The Grand Prix award is the second-most prestigious prize of the festival after the Palme d’Or. It is usually handed over by the jury to the most competing feature film during the festival.