|Producers||Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman|
In 1952, Ousmane Sembéne, a dockworker and fifth-grade dropout from Senegal, began dreaming an impossible dream: to become the storyteller for a new Africa. SEMBENE!, a feature-length HD documentary, tells the unbelievable true story of the “father of African cinema,” the self-taught novelist and filmmaker who fought, against enormous odds, a monumental, 50-year-long battle to give African stories to Africans. SEMBENE! is told through the experiences of the man who knew him best, colleague and biographer Samba Gadjigo, using rare archival footage and more than 100 hours of exclusive materials. A true-life epic, SEMBENE! follows an ordinary man who transforms himself into a fearless spokesperson for the marginalized, becoming a hero to millions. After a startling fall from grace, can Sembéne reinvent himself once more?
About The Team
Samba Gadjigo (co-writer, co-director, co-producer), the director of the documentary Making of Moolaade, is the world’s foremost expert on the life and work of Ousmane Sembéne and author of Sembéne’s official biography. He was born and raised in Senegal and is professor of African Studies and French at Mt. Holyoke College.
Jason Silverman (co-writer, co-director, co-producer) is an award-winning film producer (Olympia, Opening Night film, SXSW; Closing Night film, Slamdance; Sundance Channel; Shameless, Best Film, Great Plains Film Festival) and longtime festival director. He has produced large-scale events for the Smithsonian, the Lensic Center for the Arts, the Tribeca Film Festival and the Lannan Foundation. He is currently Cinematheque Director at the Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, and former Artistic Director of the Taos Talking Picture Festival.