YEAR 2014

SECTION World Cinema Documentary Competition

COUNTRY U.S.A./Senegal

RUN TIME 88 min

LANGUAGE English with French/Wolof

SUBTITLES Yes with English subtitles

To speak of African cinema is to speak the name of Ousmane Sembene. Known as "the father of African film," this was no easy title to bear, as shown in this personal essay about one of the world’s greatest artists.

Sembene! takes you from Dakar, Senegal, to the docks of Marseille, France, to New York City. In a career spanning 40 years, Sembene tasted the highs and the lows, only to re-invent himself with a powerful blend of documentary, French New Wave, and Realism, creating films that shocked the sociopolitical power structures of the day. Classics like Xala, Black Girl, and Moolaade established his cinematic vision and made him an international emissary who presented the inner lives of his people on film.

Told by those who knew him best and with fascinating archival interviews, Sembene!constructs a revealing portrait of a curious, cantankerous, and deeply intellectual artist. Sembene promoted a new vision of Africa, and his films injected that vision into the world. Sembene! is a testament to the power of story, highlighting how it can plant a seed of thought that crosses generations. —H.C.

COMPANY galle Ceddo Projects

EMAIL galleceddo@gmail.com


Executive Producer
Co Producer

Artist Bio

Samba Gadjigo, director of the documentary The Making of Moolaade, is the world’s foremost expert on the life and work of Ousmane Sembene. He is the author of Sembene’s official biography in both French and English. Born and raised in Senegal, Gadjigo is a professor of African literature and French at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

Jason Silverman is an award-winning film producer and longtime festival director. He has produced large-scale events for the Smithsonian Institution, the Lensic Center for the Arts, the Tribeca Film Festival, and the Lannan Foundation. He is currently cinematheque director at the Center for Contemporary Arts Santa Fe and former artistic director of the Taos Talking Picture Festival.