A first release trailer (although French) and poster (above) have premiered for the upcoming Malian crime-drama, “Wùlu,” the feature directorial debut from Malian filmmaker, Daouda Coulibaly. The film, which is currently touring the international film festival circuit, most recently screened in New York City at the 46th annual New Directors/New Films (ND/NF) in March of this year - a festival dedicated to the discovery of new works by emerging and dynamic filmmaking talent, which Coulibaly, whose work we've been following since his excellent 2011 Focus Features Africa First program short film, "Tinye So."
Produced by Eric Névé at Paris-based production shingle La Chauve-Souris, and initially pitched as a "Malian Scarface," the synopsis for “Wulu” reads like this: BAMAKO, MALI, 2007 – Ladji, a 20 year old man, works hard as a prantiké (bus driver) to get his older sister, Aminata, out of prostitution. As he doesn’t get the promotion he was expecting, he decides to contact Driss, a drug dealer who owes him a favour. Assisted by his two mischievous friends Houphouet and Zol, Ladji carries kilos of cocaine from Conakry to Bamako. His rapid rise to the top of the drug trafficking underworld, gives him easy access to money, women and a life that he had never dreamt of. But the price to pay is high.
Filmed on location in Senegal and Mali under “very harsh conditions,” said Indie Sales who are repping the film in the international marketplace, "Wùlu" stars Ibrahim Koma (“The Crocodile Of Botswanga,” “Asphalt Playground”) and singer-turned-actress Inna Modja.
[caption id="attachment_288875" align="aligncenter" width="780"] Wùlu[/caption]
“Daouda Coulibaly is one of today’s most talented Franco-Malian filmmakers and Ibrahim Koma a promising actor… The film takes us into a shady world of west African poverty and drug trafficking, and I am confident that the story of Ladji will manage to connect to the audience worldwide," said Indie Sales’ prexy Nicolas Eschbach in a previous statement.
As mentioned earlier, director Coulibaly’s short film, “Tinye So,” was a 2011 Focus Features Africa First program selection - the now defunct initiative that earmarked funds exclusively for emerging African filmmakers, awarding 5 filmmakers annually $10,000 apiece to make their short films. "Tinye So" is online in its entirety, so I encourage you to watch it in full below for a sample of the filmmaker’s work.
"Wùlu," which is co-financed by the European Commission, is currently traveling the international film festival circuit. We continue to keep tabs on it, hoping it eventually finds distribution. It does have France distribution, and will premiere in the country on June 14.
A first trailer for the film (also for its French release) premiered today and is embedded below. Although it's without English subtitles, the images mostly tell the tale. Under the trailer, you'll find 3 clips from the film which are all English-subtitled, unlike the trailer. You'll also find the filmmaker's award-winning short film, "Tinye So" after them:
And here are the 3 clips, subtitled in English:
And here's the filmmaker's short film, "Tinye So."