Timbuktu was the big winner at the 40th Cesar Awards held in France last night, hauling in seven awards including the coveted best film and director accolades.
Abderrahmane Sissako’s visually-stunning tale tells the story of the city of Timbuktu in the west African nation of Mali which was under siege by Islamist militant group Ansar Dine for a large part of 2012.
Even though the city was eventually liberated by a France-led intervention, it remains a dangerous place especially for foreigners. As a result, most of the film was shot in Sissako’s home country of Mauritania under military protection.
In his acceptance speech, Sissako paid homage to the richness and openness of the French film industry and in particular his producer Sylvie Pialat and co-producer/distributor Jean Labadie for believing in the project and taking risks.
“France had faith in this film from the start as we were in a rush to get it off the ground.”
He praised France for it’s resolute response to the recent Paris terror attacks and also saluted the Cannes Film Festival for its promotion of his film.
If you haven’t seen the trailer for the film, check it out below:
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