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Dani Kouyaté during his acceptance speech at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in Lagos. Photo:

While We Live captures a winning prize at the Africa Movie Academy Awards

We wish to congratulate director Dani Kouyaté and producers Maria Larsson Guerpillon and Julien Siri, whose film While We Live scooped up the award for Best Film by an African Living Abroad at last night’s Africa Movie Academy Awards, the largest film awards ceremony in Africa.

Having been nominated was already a great honour, and the very fact that we’ve gone on to win is utterly indescribable. We look back on our journey throughout this process, since we first began working on the film. This journey has given us so much. We are thankful for our team, for Dani, for our co-producers at Film i Skåne and Way Creative Films, and obviously for the support of the Swedish Film Institute. So many people contributed to making this film possible,” stated producers Maria Larsson Guerpillon and Julien Siri.

Since its Swedish premiere last autumn, While We Live has been praised by international festival audiences around the world, including in Montreal, New York and Los Angeles. In February the film won the critics award at FESPACO, Africas largest film festival held in Burkina Faso, director Dani Kouyaté’s birthplace. A few weeks ago, the film went on to win Best Film at FESTICAB in Burundi.

While We Live was granted funding from the Swedish Film Institutes former feature-film commissioner Baker Karim.The film can be streamed in Sweden via SF Anytime and Viaplay, and will be aired on SVT next year.

While We Live was nominated in the following categories at the 2017 Africa Movie Academy Awards:

Best Film by an African Living AbroadMaria Larsson Guerpillon and Julien Siri, both from production company DFM, which has produced many festival award-winning films.

Best Actress in a Leading RoleJosette Bushell-Mingo, for her role as Kandia. Actress, director and artistic director Josette Bushell-Mingo recently played Nina Simone in the highly acclaimed play Nina – A Story About Me and Nina Simone, and had her directorial debut with Swedish Riksteatern’s A Raisin in the Sun.

Best Young Promising ActorAdam Kanyama, for his role as Ibbe. Adam is a successful Swedish hip-hop artist and has released three EPs. This role was his acting debut.

Best Actor in a Supporting RoleRichard Sseruwagi, for his role as Sekou. Richard Sseruwagi recently featured in the Swedish TV series Spring Tide.

Achievement in Screenplay – Dani Kouyaté and Olivier Guerpillon. Other films by Dani Kouyaté include Keïta! Voice of the Griot (1995), Sia, The Dream of the Python (2001) and Ouaga Saga (2004). Olivier Guerpillon is a director, producer (Broken Hill Blues, Sound of Noise, etc) and scriptwriter.

Achievement in SoundtrackAndreas Unge, who also composed the soundtrack for the Guldbagge Award-winning documentary Martha & Niki. The soundtrack to While We Live is now available on Spotify and through other music services.

Achievement in EditingPhilip Bergström, who also edited Broken Hill Blues, in addition to several award-winning short films.