Souléymane Sy Savané

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Souléymane Sy Savané
Souléymane Sy Savané at the 25th Spirit Awards.jpg
Born Côte d'Ivoire

Souléymane Sy Savané is an actor who starred in the 2008 film Goodbye Solo.[1]


Souléymane Sy Savané, a character actor, grew up in the Ivory Coast with a father who would tell stories and embody the characters so vividly that you would recognize them on the spot. And if you didn’t recognize them, they were so believable that you knew they existed. Naturally, it was the way he started telling stories.

His acting career began 10 years after he moved to the United States, with his portrayal of Solo in Ramin Bahrani’s critically acclaimed Goodbye Solo. For his first feature, Sy Savane plays a character so exuberant that Roger Ebert called him “a force of nature.” The movie opened at the 2008 Venice Film Festival to a 10-minute standing ovation and won the FRIPESCI International Critics' award. A Gotham Best Breakthrough Performance nom came after, as well as an Independent Spirit for Best Male Lead, alongside Jeff Bridges and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Two years later he’s back in Marc Forster’s Machine Gun Preacher as an introverted and dignified Sudanese rebel that befriends Gerard Butler.

In his last project, PAPA, Souléymane has audiences on edge with his gripping performance of a father losing control over his son.

Other Facts

  • Fluent in French and Mandingo
  • Theater debut in Groundswell at the New Group, directed by Scott Elliot
  • Studied British technique
  • Studied 3 years at Film Actors Workshop in Los Angeles under Eric Kline
  • Served on the 2012 Independent Spirit Award Nominating Committee


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