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The death of Khady Sylla: Senegal lost a great director!

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Khady Sylla2

African cinema was in mourning. Khady Sylla was no more. She was born in Dakar on March 27th, 1963 and she was gone in this same city on October 8th, 2013. She was buried the next day in Touba (about 195 km in the east of the capital). She will remain a director who marked her country and African cinema.

She obtained her high school diploma in Dakar before going to Paris to follow higher education of business. She got a Bachelor degree in philosophy. But very quickly, she was passionate by fashion, music and writing which she discovered at the death of her grandmother: « I thought that by writing on her I would succeed in making survive something from which I would manage to save her, what for me was as destruction ».

She wrote her first short story « L’Univers », which was never published. Then she interested herself in cinema and in production. It is true that cinema was present in her life. Her mother held the « secretaryship of Senegalese News department which was managed by Paulin Soumanou Vieira », one of the pioneers of African cinema (Afrique sur Seine). But her meeting with the French ethnologist-film-maker Jean Rouch was determining in her career. She owed him her training.

In 2005, she won the first best prize at the international Festival of documentary (FID) of Marseille for her movie « Une fenêtre ouverte » (An open window)

She taught German at Sheik Anta Diop University of Dakar.

The emotion was lively everywhere in Africa.

Khady Sylla was working on her last movie, A Single Word, currently at final stage, co-realized with her sister, also film-maker, Mariama Sylla Faye.

« Cinema is an art which is long. Thus, it is necessary to be able to take time in order to dedicate oneself to a project, to take time to let it mature, to take time to see it becoming true ».

Unfortunately, life did not give her time…


Her book:
Le Jeu de la mer (Novel), Paris, l’Harmattan, 1992, 160 p.

Her movies:
1997 : Les Bijoux
2000 :  Colobane Express
2005 : Une fenêtre ouverte
2006 : Colobane Express
2008 : Le monologue de la muette
Awaiting :  A Single Word

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