‘Atlantics’: Netflix’s Aggressive Africa Push Continues With Acquisition of Cannes Grand Prix Winner

Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to French-Senegalese filmmaker Mati Diop’s feature debut, the award winning “Atlantics,” which premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the Grand Prix.

The film’s Cannes premiere earned Diop, niece of the late, great Senegalese cinema pioneer Djibril Diop Mambéty, a spot in the history books: she became the first woman of African descent with a film in the 72-year-old festival’s Competition section, and has proven to be one of the biggest breakouts at Cannes this year.

Previously titled “Fire Next Time” (although not based on James Baldwin’s famous essay collection of the same name), the film was in rare company. Diop and French-Malian Ladj Ly were the only filmmakers of African descent represented in Competition at the world’s most prestigious film festival this year.

The acquisition represents Netflix’s ongoing aggressive push into the African continent — a
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