Best known for her work in the documentary space, Diop makes her narrative debut with Saint Omer, which will premiere in competition at this year’s Venice Film Festival, subsequently going on to make its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. The film, which Diop directed from her script written with Marie N’Diaye, follows Rama (Kayije Kagame), a novelist who attends the trial of Laurence Coly at the Saint-Omer Criminal Court. The author intends to use Coly’s story to write a modern-day adaptation of the ancient myth of Medea, but things don’t go as expected. Wild Bunch International is handling international sales, with CAA Media Finance representing the film’s North American rights.
Diop has often used her work as a means of exploring the relationship between society and cinema in contemporary France. The filmmaker won the César Award for Best Short Film in 2017 for Towards Tenderness (Vers la tendresse) — that same year, seeing her feature La Permanence win the top award in the French Competition section of the Cinéma Du Reel festival.
Diop’s most recent documentary, We, examines the largely Black immigrant communities in the Parisian suburbs, whose lives and work are connected by the RER B, the commuter train that travels the city from north to south. The film premiered at the 2021 Berlin Film Festival, where it was awarded the Berlinale Documentary Award and the section prizes for Best Film. It subsequently went on to screen at the New Directors/New Films Festival, followed by a global streaming premiere with Mubi.