Souleymane Cissé

souleymane cisse p

©UNESCO/ M. Ravassard

Souleymane Cissé is a Malian film-maker. After his return to Mali in 1960 from secondary studies in Dakar, his passion for films developed into his life vocation. He obtained a scholarship and went to Moscow where he was a projectionist before pursuing film-making.

In 1970, he became a camera operator for the Malian Ministry of Information. Two years later, he directed Five Days in a Life, which received a prize at the Carthage Film Festival. Two of his movies Baara (Work) and Finyé (The Wind) received the Etalon de Yenenga prize at FESPACO. Yeelen (Light) and its 1987 Cannes Jury Award revealed Souleymane Cissé to the main audience.

A dedicated film-maker, Souleymane Cissé is the President of the Union of West African Cinema and Audiovisual Designers and Entrepreneurs (UCECAO). In recognition of his work, he was made a Commandeur de l'Ordre National of Mali in 2006 and Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres of France.