Our conversation with Souleymane Cissé takes place this Friday, May 12 at 7:30pm in the Francesca Beale Theater at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. Please note: Martin Scorsese is unfortunately no longer able to participate in the conversation.

One of the living greats of cinema, Souleymane Cissé is known for catapulting African film to the world stage with Yeelen, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes in 1987 and became the first African movie to be awarded at the festival. Over a long career, the Malian filmmaker, now 82, has pioneered an original, uncompromising style of realism and incisive social critique through films like Den Muso (1975), the first feature to made in the Malian language of Bambara; Baara (1977) which won the Etalon de Yennenga at FESPACO; and Waati, which was screened in Competition at Cannes in 1995. A beacon of inspiration for artists worldwide, Cissé has also dedicated his career to supporting African filmmaking through initiatives such as the Union of West African Cinema and Audiovisual Designers, which he founded.

In conjunction with retrospective screenings of Yeelen and Den Muso at this year’s festival, NYAFF30 is pleased to host a special conversation featuring Cissé and renowned Senegalese filmmaker and multi-disciplinary artist, Moussa Sène Absa whose acclaimed feature film, Xalé opens this year’s festival. The conversation will be moderated by Film Comment co-deputy editor Devika Girish.