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A man and a woman stand looking at each other.

SFFILM Festival

Banel & Adama

Directed by Ramata-Toulaye Sy

Senegal | Fiction | 87

25 Apr
Thu, Apr 25 at 3:30 pm PT
27 Apr
Sat, Apr 27 at 5:00 pm PT


The titular Senegalese couple at the center of this visually ravishing romantic drama faces several challenges — Adama is in line to be chief but doesn’t want the responsibility while Banel insists they not have children, especially in light of the economic hardships brought about by drought. Tired of being relegated to female-designated roles, Banel would rather relocate outside the village where sandstorms have buried several houses but where she and Adama will be removed from the daily life that hems them in. Though deeply in love and prepared to realize his beloved’s wishes, Adama is more pragmatic and concerned about their livelihoods and familial responsibilities. Ramata-Toulaye Sy’s poetic debut, which competed at Cannes, tells a fable-like story imbued with dreamlike imagery and palpable chemistry between the two young lovers at its heart.

Director Ramata-Toulaye Sy

After studying cinema at La Fémis in Paris, French Senegalese filmmaker Ramata-Toulaye Sy began her career as a screenwriter, contributing to scripts for Sibele (2018) and Our Lady of the Nile (2019). She made her directing debut with Astele (2021), a short film that won the Share Her Journey award at the Toronto International Film Festival and two prizes at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. Banel & Adama is her first feature.

Film Details

Language Pular

Original Language Title Banel e Adama

Year 2023

Premiere California

Runtime 87

Country Senegal/France/Mali/Qatar

Director Ramata-Toulaye Sy

Producer Margaux Juvénal, Maud Leclair-Névé, Éric Névé

Writer Ramata-Toulaye Sy

Editor Vincent Tricon

Cinematographer Amine Berrada

Closed Captions Closed Captions are not yet confirmed for this program

Audio Description Audio Descriptions are not yet confirmed for this program

American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation American Sign Language Interpretation is not currently scheduled for this film