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"I needed to see black people on screen", says 'Atlantics' director

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published 1 week ago - Duration: 02:03s

"I needed to see black people on screen", says 'Atlantics' director

Mati Diop, whose Cannes competition spot makes her the first black woman to compete for the Palme d'Or, says it shows how much work there is to do for equality in the industry.

Rough cut (no reporter narration)

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"I needed to see black people on screen", says 'Atlantics' director

ROUGH CUT.

NO REPORTER NARRATION Widely touted as the first black woman to have a film competing for the Palme d'Or, Mati Diop, director of film "Atlantics", said the label makes her "sad".

"My first feeling, to be honest, was a little sadness, that this only happen now, today, in 2019.

It is pretty late...it is always a reminder that so much work needs to be done," the 36-year-old French-Senegalese filmmaker told a news conference in Cannes on Friday (May 17).

"I needed to see black people on screen, like huge, like everywhere, like huge.

It was really needed, very urgently needed," she said.

Built on Diop's 2009 documentary short "Atlantiques", but rather than continuing to focus on the story of a man who toook a treacherous ocean journey to Spain from Senegal in search of a better life, "Atlantics" shifts to the women who remain behind.

(Production: Louise McLoughlin)

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