Director Apolline Traore's Film "Frontières" Selected by French Institute for Distribution Among Its Cultural Network

Frontières (Borders) is an award-winning feature film directed by Burkinabe Apolline Traore. The suspense drama focuses on the intense journey of four women who face injustices and sexual harassment while crossing borders to trade goods.

Frontières (Borders), winner of the 2018 Pan African Film Festival in the USA, gets cultural support of 96 French Institutes and more than 800 French Alliances

I tell real stories. Frontieres focuses on a 7-day adventure of four enterprising women crossing 5 borders without fear, from Senegal to Nigeria, while fighting against sexual assault and corruption.”
— Apolline Traore, director and writer of Frontieres

CANNES, ‎PROVENCE-ALPES-CôTE D'AZUR, FRANCE, May 14, 2018 / -- The #MeToo Movement is not just about the movie industry in Hollywood, California. Women have been taken advantage of for centuries in countries around the world. Long before Hollywood's dirty secrets were revealed, Burkina Faso's Director and Writer Apolline Traore produced, "Frontières," a feature film about 4 women, 5 countries in 7 days, who endure injustices from sexual assault, harassment, and extortion from men and governments who control the borders that they must cross to make a living trading goods.

Borders, the English translation, is an intense look at what happens on the road but stays on the road for women like the four featured in the film, Senegalese Actress Amélie Mbaye, Ivorian Actress Naky Sy Savane, Burkinabe Actress Adizelou Sidi, and Nigerian Actress Unwana Udobang.

Staying true to her roots, Traore shot her film entirely on the locations depicted in the storyline from Burkina Faso, Senegal to Nigeria. "I tell real stories. Frontières (Borders) focuses on a 7-day adventure of four enterprising women crossing 5 borders without fear while fighting against sexual assault and corruption," she said.

While Frontières (Borders) is in French with English subtitles, Traore's brilliant storytelling caught the attention of diverse audiences. The film won Best Narrative Film at the 26th Annual Pan African Film Festival, the largest and most prestigious Black film festival in America, co-founded by Award-Winning Actor Danny Glover, Actress Ja’Net DuBois, and Executive Director Ayuko Babu. Nearly 800 entries of shorts and feature films from around the world are submitted each year to the PAFF. In 2018, 170 films were accepted and Traore's feature film won the highest honor.

In Africa, "Frontières" was the Official Selection - Feature Films Fiction at the Panafrican Festival of Cinema and Television of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) 2017, Winner of the African Integration Award from ECOWAS and the Félix-Houphouët-Boigny Prize from the Conseil de l'Entente at FESPACO 2017.

To further the exposure of French films such as Traore's film, a historic partnership was officially signed by President of Orange Middle East & Africa Bruno Mettling and French Institute President Pierre Buhler on May 11, 2018 in Cannes during the 71st Cannes Film Festival between Orange Studios and the French Institute, which is monumental for French films. France's cultural diplomacy is supported by a network of 96 French Institutes and more than 800 French Alliances.

The French Institute will promote access to theatrical films in the French cultural network abroad, by ensuring the technical follow-up and the availability of the media with each of the rooms exploiting the film. "The continent is a priority and it remains essential to the cinema where it should be seen, namely on too few screens Africa. This partnership with Orange is even more emblematic that France will welcome in 2020 a Season of African cultures," said Buhler.

The partnership offers a non-exclusive distribution to its global network. "Four films by African women directors will be screened in preview under the aegis of the Cinémathèque Afrique in the French cultural network, for a broadcast from September 2018, including Director Apolline Traore's "Frontières," said Mettling.

"As a filmmaker, I am grateful to Orange and the French Institute for believing in me and my films. I always wanted to be a filmmaker since I was a little girl. I remember telling a lot of stories at the dinner table when I was young," said Traore. "For me, film making is a way to share my dreams with the world." Traore's films are produced by Les Films Selmon, her production company.

"I wanted to tell a graphic story about the strength of African women who bounded in an accidental friendship to survive," said Traore. "It reflects the #MeToo Movement because in the film we see four independent women who refuse to belittle themselves in front of the supremacist of men."

In 2017, the Burkinabè director's "Frontières" officially opened at FESPACO in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. "It is a hot topic more than ever and is close to my heart," said Traore. "We need ​​free movement of people and goods in Africa and eliminate the zone of corruption and stand up for women rights."

Frontieres continues its journey in the film festival circuit from Burkina Faso and Los Angeles to Cannes and now New York where it will be the opening night screening and discussion at the 25th Annual New York African Film Festival. The premiere will be held at the Film Society of Lincoln Center at 165 W. 65th Street, New York, NY 10023 on May 16 at 6:30 p.m. "It's a very big honor. The festival had screened my first short film, "Kounandi” in 2004," said Traore. "On it's 25th anniversary, I'm opening the festival and at the same time honoring my recently deceased mentor, Idrissa Ouedraogo. It's wonderful and bittersweet but he would be proud."

This is a media-friendly event. For more information and press credentials, please contact or call 212-352-1720.

Traore's next project scheduled to begin production in Summer 2018 is a Haitian feature film, “Desrances," starring Award-Winning Haitian-American TV and Film Actor Jimmy Jean-Louis. "My inspiration about “Desrances” came from the place of girls in our society. Until today we find in our community, parents who prefer putting their boy in school because a girl will leave the family: with a husband," said Traore. "It's important for me to show that a girl can be a heir as well as a boy. The story honors Haiti by showing the strength of a Haitian man, despise his multiple troubles. It's a positive and honorable reflection of Haiti. A poor and very problematical country that stays strong no matter the circumstances."

For interviews and personal appearances, contact Traore's Publicist Marie Lemelle at 213-276-7827 (WhatsApp) or

For more information about the purchase, lease or distribution of Traore's films or for investment and product placement, contact Traore at or Platinum Star PR at

About Apolline Traore:
Apolline TRAORÉ was born in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. After traveling around the world with her father who worked for the United Nations, she ended up at Emerson College in Boston,USA for film school. In 1998, she obtained her Master's degree in directing and then moved to Los Angeles. After a few years working in independent films, in 2007 she decided to return to her country to tell stories about her continent. She is a director, producer, and writer, known for award-winning films: Borders (2017), Kounandi (2004) and The Price of Ignorance (2000).

The limited liability company was founded by Apolline Traoré in 2001 with its head office in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. It is specialized in films and videos production. Les Films Selmon is made up of a General Manager, 6 permanent staff members and a dozen contractual workers.

About Orange Studios:
Orange, present in nearly 20 countries in Africa and the Middle East,supports African film production, with 13 films co-produced by Orange Studio (including the movie multi-award-winning TIMBUKTU), since 4 years. The operator attaches to promote creation by promoting African films at festivals, restoring movies and helping young directors from the continent.

About the French Institute:
The Institut français provides support for cultural action to France's diplomatic strategies along the following lines:
promote international artistic exchanges; share French intellectual creation;to disseminate French film and audiovisual heritage;to support the cultural development of the countries of the South;encourage the dissemination and learning of the French language;develop the dialogue of cultures through the organization of "seasons", "years", or "festivals" in France and abroad;promote the international mobility of creators, with residency programs;coordinate and promote actions with French local authorities abroad;to act for cultural diversity on a European scale through European and multilateral partnerships; and provide training and career follow-up for cultural network agents around the world .

Marie Lemelle
Platinum Star PR
(213) 276-7827
email us here

Burkina Faso Director and Writer Apolline Traore Talks about Her Award-Winning Feature Film, Frontières (Borders)

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