Souleymane CISSE

Director, Director, Actor


Souleymane CISSE

Born in Bamako (Mali) in 1940, Souleymane Cissé completed his secondary education in Dakar, then obtained a scholarship to study at the VGIK in Moscow. Upon his return, he became a photojournalist for the Malian Ministry of Information film section. In 1975, he shot Den Muso (The Young Girl), Mali's first feature-length fiction film in the Bambara language, which was immediately banned by the authorities. It was followed by Baara (The Porter) in 1977, Finyè (The Wind) in 1981, and his masterpiece Yeelen (Brightness), which won the Cannes Jury Prize in 1987. His last film Waati (Time), also selected for Cannes, dates back to 1995. His most recent unrealeased films include Un Malien à Paris, Le Divin et Jatalaw (Cinéastes) (1999), Nyaminakaden (2002), Sory le Saint (2004) and ‘Nyè’ l'œil du Cyclone (2005). A venerated and respected filmmaker, Cissé is the founder and president of the Union of West African Film and Audiovisual Creators and Entrepreneurs. He is also heavily involved in the development of an economically viable African audiovisual industry.

Jury attendance

  • Member Cinéfondation & Short Films, 2006
  • Member Feature films, 1983

Feature films


Cannes Classics, 2019


Special Screenings, 2015Director, Screenplay


Special Screenings, 2009Director, Screenplay


In Competition - Feature Films, 1995Director, Screenplay


In Competition - Feature Films, 1987Director, Screenplay


Un Certain Regard, 1982Director, Screenplay



In Competition - Feature Films, 1987
1987 Jury Prize (Ex-Aequo)
Director, Screenplay