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Timbuktu director Sissako to chair Cannes short film jury

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Abderrahmane Sissako speaking to RFI RFI/Pierre René-Worms

Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako is to be the president of the short films jury at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the organisers announced on Tuesday. Sissako’s Timbuktu is currently in the running for an Oscar and for the French cinema award, the César.


“I want to see films that I would never make,” Sissako said in a statement, adding that

Dossier: Cannes Film Festival 2014

cinema should bring to light the “suffering of anonymous people to give them strength and visibility and give evidence of their courage as well as their beauty”.

Timbuktu was in competition at Cannes in 2014 and has won critical acclaim across the world for its portrayal of the Malian city under the control of Islamist militias.

The jury chooses a Palme d’Or for short films and names the three best films produced in film schools.

“This great poet of contemporary Africa follow in the footsteps of illustrious directors such as Abbas Kiarostami, Jane Campion, Michel Gondry, Hou Hsiao-hsien and Martin Scorsese,” a Cannes festival statement said.