Cannes 2014 African Diaspora Highlights - Un Certain Regard Selection 'Run'
Photo Credit: S & A

Cannes 2014 African Diaspora Highlights - Un Certain Regard Selection 'Run'


The 67th edition of the Cannes Film Festival, the world’s most prestigious, kicks off today, May 14, and will run for the next 10 days, through May 24. Overall African Diaspora participation at this year’s event is as low as it typically is, so no surprises there. 

S&A won’t have a presence at the festival this year, but I hope to gain access to the films of interest to this blog (given its stated mission) so that we can at least review them for you. 

I’ll be highlighting each of those films over the next day or three, starting with Girlhood earlier today, and continuing with this one…

Côte d’Ivoire native Philippe Lacôte’s feature film debut, Run, which was one of 15 projects selected for the Cannes L’Atelier in 2012 – an initiative which runs during the Cannes Film Festival aimed at finding financing for projects by upcoming directors that are in an advanced state of development. 

I should note that it was one of the 10 films on my predictions list post.

The synopsis reads: 

Run is running away… He has just killed his country’s prime minister. To escape, he has taken on the face and clothes of a madman, wandering throughout the town for months. Run speaks of his “transformation into a madman.” He tells the tale of his chaotic journey, like that of the Ivory Coast, by deliberately placing himself beyond the edge of reason. His life returns to him in flashes: his childhood with Master Tourou, when he dreamt of becoming a rainmaker; his incredible adventures with Greedy Gladys, and his past in the militia as a Young Patriot. Run has not chosen all of these lives. He has stumbled into them, escaping from one life to another. This is why he is called “Run.” 

The film’s starring cast includes Isaach de Bankole (likely the most familiar to American audiences; he recently starred in Andrew Dosunmu’s Mother Of George), Abdoul Karim Konate (he starred in Bamba Souleymane’s Burn It Up Djassa) and Rasmane Ouedraogo (the veteran featured in films like Ousmane Sembene’s Moolaadé). 

Run was selected to screen in the Un Certain Regard sidebar of the festival – a program created to recognize young, promising talent and to encourage innovative and daring storytelling on film. At the end of the festival, one of the films from the category will be honored with a grant to aid in its distribution in France.

The fact that it was selected for the Cannes L’Atelier film financing summit 2 years ago, made it an all-too obvious pick as I came up with my predictions list.

By the way, a short film by director Lacôte is currently traveling with the African Metropolis initiative, which features 7 African directors, each exploring their own “African Metropolis” on film. This should give Stateside audiences a first glimpse at the filmmaker’s work, while we wait for his feature debut, Run, to reach our shores. The African Metropolis series of shorts will next screen at the Seattle International Film Festival next month, for those of you in that area.

A clip from Run follows below; underneath are a few photos from the film:


Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

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