Four expert-approved ways to pay less tax
Four expert-approved ways to pay less tax

Nick Charalambous

This Monkstown home is a serene dream, yet still perfectly suited to the demands of family life
This Monkstown home is a serene dream, yet still perfectly suited to the demands of...

IMAGE Interiors & Living

Crossing: Director Levan Akin on his new film, patriarchy and the importance of family
Crossing: Director Levan Akin on his new film, patriarchy and the importance of family

Sarah Finnan

Weekend Guide: Festivals, exhibitions, and more great events
Weekend Guide: Festivals, exhibitions, and more great events

Sarah Gill

IMAGE staff pick their top skincare products from French beauty brands
IMAGE staff pick their top skincare products from French beauty brands

Edaein OConnell

Inside the former tram ticketing office on the market for €680,000
Inside the former tram ticketing office on the market for €680,000

Sarah Finnan

The rise of teeth gems on the Irish scene
The rise of teeth gems on the Irish scene

Oyindamola Animashaun

Page Turners: ‘The Story Collector’ author Evie Woods
Page Turners: ‘The Story Collector’ author Evie Woods

Sarah Gill

5 foolproof summer ‘fits
5 foolproof summer ‘fits

Sarah Finnan

The massage I’ve spent the past month thinking about
The massage I’ve spent the past month thinking about

Sarah Gill

My Life in Culture: Director Ramata-Toulaye Sy
Image / Living / Culture

Photo by Philippe Quaisse - Pasco&co

My Life in Culture: Director Ramata-Toulaye Sy


by Sarah Finnan
13th Feb 2024

Ramata-Toulaye Sy is a French-Senegalese film director, producer and screenwriter born and raised in the Paris region. In 2020, she directed her first short film – Astel – which was selected in more than 80 festivals and pre-selected for a prestigious 2023 César Awards, considered the highest film honour in France. Her first feature film, Banel and Adama, will screen as part of the Dublin International Film Festival later this month.

The last thing I saw and loved… Poor Things by director Yorgos Lanthimos.

The book I keep coming back to… Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

I find inspiration in… literature and paintings. 

My favourite film is… it’s too hard and unfair to pick just one, so I decided a long time ago that I won’t have a favourite film – just a lot of movies that I love.

My career highlight is… my first feature screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 2023.

The song I listen to to get in the zone is… any song by Burna Boy! 

The last book/film/show/piece of work/artist etc. I recommended is… book: Manifesto: On Never Giving Up by Bernardine Evaristo. Artist: The painter Amoako Boafo. Film: Society of the Snow. Show: Cristóbal Balenciaga on Disney+.

I never leave the house without… a book in my bag.

The piece of work I still think about is… the documentary The Mother of All Lies by Asmae El Moudir. It’s a real masterpiece and one of my favourite movies from 2023.

My dream cast would be… Denzel Washington and Zendaya. 

The best advice I’ve ever gotten… “do it scared”.

The book that means the most to me is… a volume of poetry by Maya Angelou.

My favourite poems from the book are… two poems that give me strength when I need it the most: Phenomenal Woman and Still I Rise.

The most challenging thing about being in film is… to be a black female director.

If I wasn’t a director/producer, I would be… a writer of novels or poetry. 

The magic of film to me is… telling stories, creating a world from our imagination.

I wanted to make my film Banel & Adama because… I wanted to write the most beautiful and greatest African love story.

Three other films you should see at DIFF this year are... Omen, Bye Bye Tiberias, and Four Daughters.

Ramata-Toulaye Sy’s film, Banel & Adama, will be screened at the Light House Cinema in Smithfield on Friday 23rd February at 18:30. For tickets visit diff.ie.

Imagery courtesy Dublin International Film Festival.