(Paris) The Carrosse d’Or will be awarded to Malian Souleymane Cissé, 82, a figure in African cinema, on May 17 in Cannes, during the opening of the Quinzaine des cinéastes, the Society of Film Directors announced on Tuesday ( FRS).

The Carrosse d’or – whose name pays homage to the eponymous film by Jean Renoir – has been awarded since 2002 “a filmmaker for the innovative qualities of his films, for his audacity and his intransigence in staging and production”.

Souleymane Cissé succeeds the American Kelly Reichardt, distinguished last year, as well as other big names such as Jim Jarmusch, Martin Scorsese or Jane Campion, who have won awards over the past two decades. He is the first distinguished African filmmaker since the Senegalese Ousmane Sembène in 2005.

“Director, producer, screenwriter, exhibitor, he has become in 50 years of career the symbol of a creative freedom, both poetic and political, which makes him a herald of his continent and a monument of cinema throughout the world” , underlines the SRF in a press release.

Souleymane Cissé was born in Bamako and began his studies in Dakar, before leaving to study cinema in Moscow.

In 1975, he shot Den Muso (The Young Girl), the first Malian feature film in the Bambara language, banned by the authorities, and was selected several times at Cannes, where he won the Festival Jury Prize in 1987. with Yeelen (The Light).

The Cannes Film Festival will take place this year from May 16 to 27, with Swedish director Ruben Östlund as president of the jury.