Chairman of the Jury – FIFO 2016

Le président 4Abderrahmane Sissako

Film director, screenwriter



Mauritanian filmmaker, Abderrahmane Sissako  was born in Kiffa (Mauritania) in 1961. At a young age, he left the land of his birth to return to Mali, his father’s native land. His family moved to Bamako.

He left Africa at the age of 22 to live in Moscow and study cinema at the State Film Institute, the VGIK. This is where he shot his first short films, notably The Game, produced as part of a project at the VGIK.

Abderrahmane Sissako hit the road again in 1990, when he finished studying. He moved to France where he completed October. This medium-length film tells the story of an African who leaves Russia where he was living, leaving behind him an unrequited love story with a Russian.

October was presented at the Cannes Film Festival in 1993 in the category Un certain regard. His film Life on Earth (1998) was broadcast on Arte as part of its selection ‘2000 vu par…’ and Waiting For Happiness won the International Critics’ Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002.

Abderrahmane Sissako returned to the Croisette in 2006, his film Bamako was screened there as part of the non-competition official selection, then in 2014 his drama Timbuktu was presented there in competition. This same year Timbuktu was nominated for an Oscar for the best foreign film and he was an unrivalled success at the Césars with 7 prizes (film, director, original screenplay, sound, photo, original music and editing).

Through his works, Abderrahmane Sissako sings the praises of an Africa weakened by wars and dictatorships and features the complex relationships between the north and south. A topic that is as much in the news as ever.


1987 – TERRES AFRICAINES III : JEUX ET JOUETS (African Lands III : Games and Toys) – Short film director

1989 – LE JEU (The Game) – Short film director

1992 – OCTOBRE (October) –Medium length film director

1997 – ROSTOV-LUNADA –Feature length film director

1997 – LA VIE SUR TERRE (Life on Earth) – Feature length film director, actor, scriptwriter, 

2002 – EN ATTENDANT LE BONHEUR (Waiting for Happiness) – Feature length film director, scriptwriter

2006 – BAMAKO – Feature length film director, scriptwriter, producer, actor

2006 – 8 – Feature length film director, scriptwriter, 

2008 – LE RÊVE DE TIYA (Tiya’s Dream) – Short film director, scriptwriter, 

2008 – HISTOIRES DE DROITS DE L’HOMME (Stories on Human Rights) – Feature length film director

2009 – POTTITAL-ENSEMBLE – Short film director

2014 – TIMBUKTU – Feature length film director, scriptwriter