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‘Timbuktu’ film wins big at France’s Cesar Awards

It’s onwards and upwards for Abderrahmane Sissako’s epic film ‘Timbuktu’ which looks at the brief occupation of Timbuktu, Mali by Islamist militants. In addition to an Oscar nomination, the film took seven awards at the 40th Cesar Awards including best film and best director

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.

Abderrahmane Sissako shows off his trophy during  after winning the Best Director award for "Timbuktu" during the 40th edition of the Cesar Awards ceremony on February 20, 2015 in Paris Photo: AFP Photo/Martin Bureau
Abderrahmane Sissako shows off his trophy during after winning the Best Director award for “Timbuktu” during the 40th edition of the Cesar Awards ceremony on February 20, 2015 in Paris Photo: AFP Photo/Martin Bureau

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:

[youtube id=”Cs2dYAlbINY” mode=”normal”]

Source: Variety

 

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