Mati Diop Becomes First Black Woman to Win Award at Cannes Film Festival

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French-Senegalese director and actress Mati Diop became the first Black woman to win the Grand Prix Award at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival on Saturday, May 25.

The filmmaker won the festival’s second top prize for her film Atlantics, The Independent reported. The film is a Senegalese drama about a 17-year-old girl named Ada who falls in love with a young construction worker, but is promised to another man, Deadline noted.

“That film touched us in our hearts,” juror Elle Fanning said during a post-awards press conference, according to the Los Angeles Times. “It deals with issues, but it also felt quite personal and vulnerable and very emotional and just quite precious.”

The 72nd Cannes Film Festival ran from May 14 to May 25 in Cannes, France. The festival showcased 21 films and “celebrated artists and films from different perspectives, making cinema a celebration of discovery and…

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