Kino Lorber Acquires North American Rights to Senegal’s Oscar Submission 'Banel & Adama'

By Kino Lorber | November 28, 2023
Kino Lorber Acquires North American Rights to Senegal’s Oscar Submission 'Banel & Adama'
“Unequivocally beautiful. Sy paints breathtaking scenes with her camera, demonstrating a gorgeous way of seeing the world.”
– Lovia Gyarke, The Hollywood Reporter
Banel & Adama is a striking debut that puts Sy on the map… the combination of ethereal voiceover with nature at its most breathtaking evokes our 
cinema’s philosophical high priest, Terrence Malick.”
– Sophie Monks Kaufman, Indiewire
Kino Lorber has acquired from Best Friend Forever all North American distribution rights to Ramata-Toulaye Sy’s stunning directorial debut Banel & Adama, a beautifully haunting story of young love and Senegal’s official entry for the 96th Academy Awards. Kino Lorber is planning a theatrical release in 2024, followed by a home video, educational, and digital release on all major platforms.  
Banel & Adama made its World Premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was the only first feature to premiere in Competition, and went on to play at the Toronto and BFI London International Film Festivals. Ramata-Toulaye Sy previously directed the award-winning short film Astel, which was a prizewinner at the 2021 Toronto Film Festival and an official selection of Edinburgh Film Festival and New Directors/New Films 2022.  
Banel and Adama are fiercely in love. The young married couple lives in a remote village in northern Senegal. For them, nothing else exists. Yet their perfect everlasting love is on a collision course with their community’s customs. Because in this world, there is no room for passion, let alone chaos.
The deal for Banel & Adama was brokered by Kino Lorber Senior Vice President Wendy Lidell and Martin Gondre of Best Friend Forever.
“One of the most memorable films at this year's Cannes Film Festival, Banel & Adama is a dreamlike, lyrical story of doomed young love, anchored by Khady Mane as the fierce and captivating Banel,” said Wendy Lidell, SVP of Theatrical Distribution and Acquisitions for Kino Lorber. “It's an impressively confident debut feature from writer/director Ramata-Toulaye Sy, whose meticulously composed shots and vibrant colors capture both the beauty of Senegal and the young lovers at the center of her story. We're proud to support Senegal's entry for the Oscars and can't wait to share this beautiful film with North American audiences.” 
“I'm really thrilled that my first feature Banel & Adama has been acquired by the prestigious US distributor Kino Lorber, and so proud to join the list of the great directors who have worked with the company. Being Senegal's Oscar submission for Best International Feature is such an honor for me and my entire team, but it's above all a chance for the African continent and African film industry, led by a new generation of young directors, to be represented at the most prestigious awards in the industry. I'm looking forward to sharing this African love story with audiences,” said director Ramata-Toulaye Sy. 
Banel & Adama is a A La Chauve Souris and Take Shelter production in co-production with Astou Films, Astou Production, DS Productions, Canal+ International and Arte France Cinema. The film is produced by Eric Névé, Margaux Juvénal, and Maud Leclair Névé, and co-produced by Souleymane Kébé, Oumar Gabar Sy, and Andrey Samouté Diarra.