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Fire Next Time (La Prochaine fois le feu) – Mati Diop

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #90. Fire Next Time (La Prochaine fois le feu) – Mati Diop

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #90. Fire Next Time (La Prochaine fois le feu) – Mati Diop

Fire Next Time (La Prochaine fois le feu)

The highest ranking directorial debut on our countup, actress Mati Diop moves behind the camera in her long-gestating project, The Fire Next Time (which is not an adaptation of the famous James Baldwin novel), a title she has been working on since 2012. The film is produced by Judith Lou Lévy and Eve Robin of Les Films du Bal and co-produced by Arte France Cinema, Senegal’s Cinekap, and Belgium’s Frakas Productions. Known for her debut in Claire Denis’ exceptional 2008 film 35 Shots of Rum, as well as co-starring alongside Brady Corbet in the morbid Antonio Campos film Simon Killer (we interviewed her in Park City), she’s also racked up credits with Matias Pineiro and Benjamin Crotty. Diop is notably the daughter of director and composer Wasis Diop (A Screaming Man, 2010) and niece of director Djibril Diop Mambety (Touki Bouki, 1973).

Gist: Co-written by Diop and Olivier Demangel, Fire Next Time concerns Adele, a sixteen-year-old beautician in Senegal whose lover Soulemaine goes missing and the bodies of his friends wash ashore in Dakar. Soon after, she’s betrothed to marry an older man as she awaits news of Souleimane. When her wedding is ruined by a fire, mysterious fevers begin to take hold of the town’s inhabitants and little does Ada know, but Souleimane has returned…

Release Date/Prediction: Diop filmed in Senegal in March of 2018 with local actors, shooting in the Wolof language. We predict Diop will premiere at Cannes 2019, potentially in Un Certain Regard (although Critics’ Week and Directors’ Fortnight are also strong possibilities). MK2 are the sales agents for this one.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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