Meet Sembène, the African freedom fighter who used stories as his weapon and blazed the trail for generations of writers, filmmakers and scholars. Join filmmakers Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman to see their acclaimed documentary about Sembene’s impact on African creatives.
The film has been globally recognized and selected at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and the 2015 Sydney Film Festival.
Ousmane Sembène was born in 1923 in Casamance, a region of southern Senegal. In 1944, Sembène was drafted into the French army. The experience broadened his horizons, and deepened his understanding of colonization. His time in the military served as the basis for his films Emitai and Camp de Thiaroye. After his time in the army, he moved to Marseille in France where he published his first poem in 1956. Before returning to Africa in 1960 he published three more successful novels. When he returned to Africa he spent the next 40-years creating films to help show that Africa was not only a media consumer, but a media producer. According to the Sembène website, “Sembène was among the first filmmakers to “indigenize” cinema, forgoing Hollywood-style moviemaking for African narrative structures and aesthetics.”
About the Filmmakers:
Samba Gadjigo (co-writer, co-director, co-producer), the director of the documentary Making of Moolaade, is the world’s foremost expert on the life and work of Ousmane Sembéne and author of Sembéne’s official biography. He was born and raised in Senegal and is professor of African Studies and French at Mt. Holyoke College.
Jason Silverman (co-writer, co-director, co-producer) is an award-winning film producer (Olympia, Opening Night film, SXSW; Closing Night film, Slamdance; Sundance Channel; Shameless, Best Film, Great Plains Film Festival) and longtime festival director. He has produced large-scale events for the Smithsonian, the Lensic Center for the Arts, the Tribeca Film Festival and the Lannan Foundation. He is currently Cinematheque Director at the Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, and former Artistic Director of the Taos Talking Picture Festival.