Under the Starry Sky

  • Des étoiles
© Haut et Court Distribution
Genre : Drama
Type : Fiction
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2013
Format : Feature
Running time : 88 (in minutes)

1st Feature Film

Over one winter, through the cities of Dakar, Torino and New York, we follow the exiled paths of several interconnected characters. For her husband's funeral, New Yorker Mame Amy returns to Dakar with her 19-year-old son Thierno, who takes his first ever steps on African soil. Sophie, 24-years-old, leaves Dakar for Torino to join her husband Abdoulaye. He is missing. Abdoulaye has just arrived in New York with his cousin through an organization of clandestine migrants. As the days go by, their destinies begin to echo one another, through the diversity of the cities they are crossing, somehow all united under the same starry sky.

A film by Dyana Gaye

2013 - France / Senegal, 1h28, Feature Narrative, DCP, Languages: French, Wolof, Italian, English, Format : 1,77 - Visa : 126 5111h28

Souleymane Seye Ndiaye (Abdoulaye, New York)
Babacar Mbaye Fall (Serigne, the companion, New York)
Ralph Amoussou (Thierno, Dakar)
Maya Sansa (Ada, Turin)
Mata Gabin (Rose, Turin)
Andreï Zayats (Vadim, Turin)
Marième Demba Ly (Sophie, Turin)
Sokhna Niang (Mame Amy, Dakar)

Des étoiles
is a testimony on Senegal today as seen from its Diaspora's point of view. As many of their countrymen, Sophie, Mame Amy, Thierno, and Abdoulaye are torn between Africa and the West, the past and the future, dream and reality, one's ancient culture and their longing for freedom. The purpose of the film is not to judge the good and the bad in migration, but to rather focus on destinies often reduced to nothing more than footnotes and statistics. These destinies, though distinct, echo one another, the same way as a constellation, which is nothing more than a design shaped by several stars, are thousands of miles away from one another. This film is for me the opportunity to pay tribute to what we all are: just passing by.

Lieux de tournage / Shooting place : Turin, Dakar, New York
Langue de tournage / Shooting language : French, Wolof, Italian, English
Date et durée de tournage / Shooting date and duration : November 2012 - mid January 2013, 8 weeks
Format de tournage / Shooting format : HD
Durée du film / Film running time : 100 minutes
Budget prévisionnel / Estimated cost of the film : € 2.3 Million
Financements acquis / Financial arrangements already acquired : € 0.66 Million
Production : Arnaud Dommerc / ANDOLFI (France)

A transcontinental drama that delves into the shadowy world of undocumented travel, the debut feature from Senegalese filmmaker Dyana Gaye charts the interconnected destinies of three far-flung sojourners.

Under the skies of three cities - Turin, New York, and Dakar - Dyana Gaye charts the accidental intersections of characters in transit. Plans are derailed, happenstance meetings change courses, and destinies intertwine. Sophie (Marème Demba Ly), a young Senegalese bride, follows her husband, Abdoulaye (Souleymane Seye N'Diaye), from Dakar to Turin, where he has travelled without papers to look for work. Meanwhile, Abdoulaye has already has left for New York, lured by his cousin, Serigne (Babacar M'Baye Fall), and a promise of better opportunities. Abdoulaye's one contact in New York, Sophie's aunt, is en route to Dakar with her son, Thierno (Ralph Amoussou), to bury the husband she left twenty years earlier.

Quietly dramatic, Under the Starry Sky captures with masterful exactitude the anxieties one can suffer while experiencing far-flung geographies and cultures. Accentuating the shadowy world of undocumented travel, the film unravels like a cinematic scroll of the mysterious grand design that draws people together, in empathy and antipathy, as they fight to shape their lives and pursue their aspirations.

Gaye's tapestry of stories and characters, linked and yet stretched across time zones, is a gorgeously orchestrated meditation on being out of one's element and negotiating a place for oneself in this world, knowing that life is itself merely a passage.
RASHA SALTI (TIFF 2013, Toronto)

Countries: France / Senegal
Year: 2013
Language: French, Wolof, Italian, English
Runtime: 88 minutes
Rating: 14A

Principal Cast: Marème Demba Ly, Ralph Amoussou, Souleymane Sèye Ndiaye, Maya Sansa, Babacar Mbaye Fall, Sokhna Niang, Mata Gabin
Director: Dyana Gaye
Screenplay: Dyana Gaye, Cécile Vargaftig
Cinematographer: Irina Lubtchansky
Editor: Gwen Mallauran
Sound: Dimitri Haulet, Romain Le Bras, Sandy Notarianni, Matthieu Deniau
Music: Baptiste Bouquin
Prod. Designer: Pierre Ferrari

Exec. Producer: Jean-Baptiste Legrand, Nathalie Eybrard
Producer: Arnaud Dommerc
Production Co.: Andolfi, Ezekiel Film Production, Centrale Électrique

Int. Sales Agent: Films Distribution
U.S. Sales Agent: Rouge International

Tags: Immigration | Drama | Alienation | First Feature | Afrocentric

2013 | 38th TIFF - Toronto International Film Festival | TORONTO, Canada | 05 > 15 Sept 2013.
* Première Mondiale (World Premiere)
* Selection - Contemporary World Cinema
* Screening: Monday September 9 / Isabel Bader Theatre / 4:45 PM
* Screening: Wednesday September 11 / TIFF Bell Lightbox 4 / 11:15 AM
* Screening: Sunday September 15 / Scotiabank 14 / 8:45 PM

2012 | 65th Cannes Film Festival, France, 16 > 27 May 2012
* Atelier de la Cinéfondation (Screenplay)


Zwischen Turin, Dakar und New York, blickt der Film auf das Leben dreier Charaktere im Exil, deren Wege sich kreuzen und wieder verlieren. Im Laufe der Zeit wiederholen sich die Muster ihrer individuellen Geschichten - durch die Diversität der Metropolen, die sie durchqueren und die Dinge, die ihnen begegnen, vereinen sich ihre Schicksale letztendlich alle unter demselben Sternenhimmel. Der Film entwirft ein Bild der Situation von EmigrantInnen mit all seinen Härten, Hoffnungen und Träumen.

von Dyana Gaye

2013 - France / Senegal, 1h28


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