Best Friend Forever has boarded Ramata-Toulaye Sy’s debut feature “Banel & Adama,” a lushly lensed Senegalese female emancipation drama. Now in post, the movie is expected to have its world premiere later this year.

‘Banel & Adama’ is set a remote village of Northern Senegal where Banel and Adama are fiercely in love. Longing for a home of their own, they have decided to live apart from their families. When Adama refuses his blood duty as future chief and informs the village council of his intentions, the whole community is disrupted and chaos ensues.

Sy studied at France’s prestigious film school La Femis and previously directed the short film “Astel” which played at Toronto, New Directors/New Films and Clermont, where it won the Special Jury award, among 80 festivals to date. Ramata, meanwhile, previously co-wrote “Our Lady of the Nil” which played at Toronto, and “Sibel” which played at Locarno and Toronto.

The film was shot in Pulaar language with a cast of local non-professional actors, including Khady Mane, Mamadou Diallo, Binta Racine Sy and Moussa Sow.

“Banel & Adama” is produced by Eric Névé and Maud Leclair Névé at the Paris-based company La Chauve-Souris (“The Pirogu”), Margaux Juvénal at Take Shelter. Souleymane Kébé at Astou Production is co-producing. Tandem will release the film in France.

The crew includes the editor Vincent Tricon (“Divines”), cinematographer Amine Berrada (“The Unknown Saint”) and music composer Bachar Mar-Khalifé (“My Brothers and I,” “Skies of Lebanon”).

“Banel & Adama is a modern love tale, fed with both tragedy and fantastic, at the crossroads of ecologic and feminist narratives never seen in such context,” said Martin Gondre and Charles Bin, Best Friend Forever co-founders.

Best Friend Forever EFM line-up also includes Vuk Lungulov-Klotz’s Sundance prizewinning “Mutt” which is having its international premiere in the Berlinale Generation sidebar.

The company was launched in Cannes 2019 and is a sister company of Paris based Indie Sales.