Abderrahmane Sissako

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Abderrahmane Sissako
Abderrahmane Sissako.jpg
Born (1961-10-13) 13 October 1961 (age 53)
Kiffa, Mauritania
Nationality Mauritanian
Occupation Film director, screenwriter, producer

Abderrahmane Sissako (born 13 October 1961) is a film director and producer who has often worked in Mali and France. Sissako is, along with Ousmane Sembène, Souleymane Cissé, Idrissa Ouedraogo and Djibril Diop Mambety, one of the few filmmakers from Africa to reach a measure of international influence. His film Waiting for Happiness (Heremakono) was screened at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival official selection under Un Certain Regard,[1] winning the FIPRESCI Prize. His 2007 film Bamako received much attention. Sissako's themes include globalisation, exile and the displacement of people. His 2014 film Timbuktu was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival[2] and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[3]


Soon after his birth Sissako's family emigrated to Mali, his father's country, where he completed part of his primary and secondary education. Sissako returned briefly to Mauritania, his mother's land, in 1980. Then he left for Moscow, where he studied cinema at the VGIK (Federal State Film Institute) from 1983 to 1989. Sissako settled in France at the beginning of the 1990s.

Besides his work as a director, he also works as a cultural advisor for Mauritanian head of state Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.[4]


In addition to feature films and short films, Sissako has served on the jury of the Premiers Plans festival in Angers in January 2007.



  • Thomas Sotinel, « Abderrahmane Sissako. Pour en finir avec le cinéma du Nord », Le Monde, 21 octobre 2006, p. 19
  • Samuel Lelièvre, « Les cinémas africains, Abderrahmane Sissako et les frontières du monde », CinémAction, no. 137, 2010, pp. 182–185.


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Waiting for Happiness". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  2. ^ "2014 Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Oscars 2015". Oscars 2015: what will win best foreign language film?. Retrieved 4 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Abderrahmane Sissako, une imposture mauritanienne, Mondafrique, 20 February 2015.

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