Biography: Cheick Oumar Sissoko was born in 1945 in San, Mali. Having graduated from Paris University in African History and Sociology, he studied film at the Ecole Nationale Louis Lumière. He then returned to Mali and worked as a filmmaker at the Centre National de Productions Cinématogaphiques (CNPC), for which he directed Sécheresse and Exode Rural. His film Guimba was awarded the Special Jury Prize at Locarno in 1996. La Genèse (1999) won the Etalon de Yennenga at FESPACO 1999 and was selected in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes that same year.