Aïssa Maïga is an award-winning French actress and the first French actress of African descent to be nominated for a French Academy Award (César) for her role as Melé, a disillusioned bar singer in Abderrahamane Sissako’s Bamako. Michel Gondry later directed her in Mood Indigo. Aïssa recently appeared in two French blockbusters: Julien Rambaldi’s The African Doctor (2016), and He Even Has Your Eyes (2017), directed by Lucien Jean-Baptiste.
In 2018, Aïssa Maïga’s versatile talents will be showcased in two English-language films: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Oscar winner Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut, and South African Mickey Dube’s Comatose.
This year Aïssa initiated a project to share the journeys of French black actresses of different ages and backgrounds, and their experiences in the French film industry. Writing about her personal journey and curating the stories of these fifteen other actresses resulted in the book, Noire n’est pas mon métier (My Profession Is Not Black), which released during the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. The book has become a cultural phenomenon and commercial success throughout France.
In order to focus attention on the lack of diversity in French cinema, Aïssa decided to walk the red carpet in Cannes accompanied by the 15 actresses, where as a cohesive group, they stood for diversity and inclusion. Building on her book’s success, Aïssa has begun directing a documentary on the place of black actresses in fiction, on both sides of the Atlantic. These endeavors add the title of Author and Director to her resume and international achievements.
Aïssa Maïga is currently filming Taken Down, an Irish television series (RTE) directed by David Caffrey.