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Sidney Sokhona

Sidney Sokhona is a Mauritanian filmmaker born in 1952. He arrived in Paris at the age of 14. Having come to France to study, he found himself obliged to work, and took evening classes. At the Université de Vincennes, he became interested in cinema, and began working as a volunteer assistant with Jean Rouch on Petit à Petit, then with Med Hondo on Bicots nègres, vos voisins. His first feature film, Nationalité : Immigré, was shot between 1972 and 1975 at the Rue Riquet hostel for immigrant workers in Paris, where he himself was living. He went on to make Safrana ou le droit à la parole (1977) before returning to Mauritania. He then gave up cinema to get involved in politics. He was awarded the Prix Spécial du Jury at the 5th FESPACO (Pan-African Film and Television Festival, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso) in 1976 and the Prix Georges-Sadoul in Paris in 1975.