Movie Industry Personality Profile: Apolline Traoré

Burkinabé filmmaker and producer, Apolline Traoré was born in 1976 in Ouagadougou to a Diplomat, her family moved to the United States and she began her studies at Emerson College in Boston, a well known institution in the field of art and communication, at the age of 17.


The Price of Ignorance in 2000 (a movie about a Bostonian rape victim) and Kounandi in 2003, which was selected for the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival, are among several short films, she directed in the 2000s,

After producing her own feature film, Sous la clarté de la lune, in 2004, Traoré returned; a year, later to Burkina Faso in 2005 and started working with Idrissa Ouédraogo.


By the third year of her return, she directed Le testament, a television series, in 2008; while Moi Zaphira (2013) and Frontières (2018) were the feature films that brought her to the limelight.


She was awarded two prize in February 2017 at Fespaco, the popular film festival held Ouagadougou.


Traoré’s fourth feature film, Desrances won the award for best design, also at Fespaco, in 2019; and has received several awards and honors internationally, including Kerala International Festival in India; where it won three awards, that same year December 2019.

Also in 2019, at the Sotigui Awards, this fourth feature film won the Awards for Best Actor in African Cinema in the Diaspora, and the Sotigui d’or 2019; which went to the Haitian actor Jimmy Jean-Louis.


Similarly, at Benin, the film won the Grand Prix Buste d’or Paulin Soumanou Vieyra in 2019 at the Rencontres cinématographiques et numériques de Cotonou (Recico).


Traoré’s commitment to culture and the advancement of women has won several honors for her; particularly the medal, she received for the fight of women in cinema during the Luxor African Film Festival.

Distinguished as a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite, des Arts, des Lettres et de la Communication in 2019, she was installed as an Ambassador of the National Museum of Burkina Faso in 2020.


Between 2019, when she had her breakthrough and 2023, Traoré has made her mark in the Burkinabé movie industry; with works such as Desrances (2019), Frontières (2017), Moi Zaphira (2013), La testament (2008), Sous la clarté de la lune (2004), Kounandi (2003), Monia et Rama (2002), The Price of Ignorance (2000), Sira (2023).


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