Projet de film NORA

Animation 3D / Animated film in S3D
Réalisation : Cheikh A. Ndiaye
Scénario : Cheikh A. Ndiaye
Studio : Mac Guff

Durée : 90 min.
Version Originale : Français
Production : Sira Badral Productions


NORA, une fillette d'une dizaine d'année, écoute de la musique quand un lion affamé arrive dans le village. Tous les villageois, morts de peur, s'enferment dans leur maison, sauf NORA. Le lion étonné, s'arrête auprès d'elle. Personne n'a jamais osé lui tenir tête. Alors commence un formidable duel entre le lion et NORA.

Nora prouvera son courage et sa valeur, en affrontant le jeune et puissant lion. Ce combat singulier, aux allures fantastiques et initiatiques, où il n'y aura ni vainqueur ni vaincu, aboutira à un pacte entre NORA et KARO, le lion.




un film de Cheikh Ndiaye

Réalisation : Cheikh Ndiaye
Scénario : Cheikh Ndiaye
Image : Nasr Djepa
Montage : Silvie Adnin, Franck Cotelle
Son : Guillaume Valeix, Alioune Mbow
Music : Ibrahima Diop, Mouss
Interprètes : Aziz Ndiaye, Mohamed Dao,
Tapha Gueye, Ibrahima Mbaye, Khadija Gueye
  Format : 35 mm
Durée : 105 min.
Version Originale : Wolof, Français
Soutitrage : Anglais
Production : Sira Badral
Sénégal – Maroc - Burkina Faso - 2006

Nalla et Sory sont deux jeunes hommes de milieux différents. Nalla grâce à sa rencontre avec le lutteur André, va faire la connaissance de Malaw le champion de lutte. Celui-ci va lui faire découvrir le monde de la lutte avec ses suggestions d’héroïsme, de charisme et de mysticisme. Le contact de Sory, avec la lutte, se situe dans la périphérie des arènes. Le jeune homme survit en trafiquant des billets et en organisant des paris autour des combats pour une bande de la pègre Dakaroise.

Nalla and Sory are two young men from a different background. Nalla 17 years old, is from a well suited family of Dakar. Sory is 25, epileptic, he is unemployed and is surviving through petty crime.
Both of them have nothing in common but traditional wrestling. Sory has a night life, hanging around bars; he is a gambler, losing often the income of Sanou, his girlfriend, who regularly gives him money. This gambling of course creates a tension which leads to violent arguments always ending in cuddling.
On the contrary Nalla has all he needs. During a walk he is agressed by a gang of young thugs. Andre, a mechanic resting under his truck witnesses the agression and comes to the rescue, dismissing the thugs, this leads to a new friendship.
After the movies, Nalla and his friend Saliou meet a crowd of happy dancers and singers, celebrating the wrestling season. Under the rolling drums, the young men join the crowd. Nalla recognizes Andre, in the team of wrestlers. The young men discover the world of wrestling, with the dancing suggesting courage, heroism and mysticism. Andre, from that time on, initiates the boy to wrestling, having him participate to numerous trainings. A growing friendship will tie the two men.
bande d'anonce - trailer

Festival : Berlinale 2006, Los Angeles Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival, etc.
Grand Prix Festival de Zanzibar, Mention Festival d'Amiens

presse - press

Combining sporting prowess and fabulous music, the promising "The Call of the Arena" dramatically demonstrates the cultural importance of wrestling in Senegal. Second half will prove challenging to auds trained in Western storytelling, but yarn succeeds on its own terms. First feature from Senegalese helmer Cheikh Ndiaye is blessed by good perfs, including some from wrestlers who can act. Fests, particularly in Europe, will ring the bell for this one.
Atmosphere is highly charged from the get-go as 19-year-old Nalla (Abdoul Aziz Ndiaye) is chased by several muggers in the daylit streets of his well-to-do Dakar suburb. Wrestling champ Andre (Moustapha Gueye), fixing his truck near the crime scene, intervenes in the melee and intimidates the thieves into returning Nalla's property.
While driving Nalla to town, Andre explains the importance of wrestling and encourages the youth to join his group. The sport quickly becomes a vocation for Nalla, much to the consternation of his mother, a domineering and sophisticated upper-class woman who disdains violence in all its forms.
Pic's opening 45 minutes is a joy. From its initial chase scene to the rigorous training Nalla is subjected to, the film exudes a fabulous energy. Helmer is judicious in his use of handheld camera, and his depiction of the balletic training manoeuvers is pure cinematic pleasure.
A subplot focuses on Sory (Ibrahima Mbaye), an epileptic gambler who gets a job scalping wrestling tickets. The two yarns essentially intersect only once. Scenes are connected by music and poetic chants from performers known as "griots" who act as spiritual cheerleaders for the wrestlers.
While Ndiaye is good in the central role of Nalla and all other perfs are solid, pic loses some of its dynamism when Andre drops out of the narrative. Gueye, who plays Andre, is an actual professional wrestler and something of a superstar in Senegal. He dominates the screen, not just through sheer physicality but with a charming, reassuring presence most thesps would kill for. Pic never regains its full power until the emotional closing shot.
That said, the film's second half is both enchanting and edifying with its representations and explanations of the importance of spirituality, music and tradition in Senegalese wrestling. Unfortunately, in terms of traditional Western narrative, some auds will cry uncle before reaching the climactic tournament fight.
Helming is astute and lensing high quality. Soundtrack music and songs from the "griots" are as soulful as they are relevant to the narrative. Other tech credits are decidedly pro.
Pic was listed in Berlin's Forum catalog as "Wrestling Grounds."

- Russel Edwards

Shamans and punching bags are the cornerstones of 17-year-old Nalla’s training in this colorful foray into the world of Senegalese wrestling, a traditional art that has become a national phenomenon. When Nalla joins a champion team, he learns there’s a spiritual aspect to the sport, one that goes beyond the muscles, money and the ladies. Cheikh Ndiaye’s engaging film twists the familiar images of Africa, cutting from nightclubs to ancestral ceremonies to streets where boomboxes play and athletes in traditional dress and sneakers dance their way to victory.

- La Film Festival - presented by the Los Angeles Times

le réalisateur
"J'ai toujours voulu faire un film se passant dans le milieu de la lutte. La lecture de l'Appel des arènes m'a permis d'accomplir ce désir. Séduit par l'amitié entre Nalla, un garçon issu d'un milieu aisé, et un lutteur, j'ai eu envie d'adapter le roman. L'histoire se situe à Dakar. Les personnages de Nalla et de Sory permettent une lecture à plusieurs niveaux de la vie d'une ville comme Dakar. Nalla vit dans l'aisance, tandis que Sory survit tant bien que mal de petites combines. Son personnage permet de toucher une réalité : le chômage. Mais aussi une certaine violence de plus en plus présente dans les grandes villes africaines. Les deux hommes fréquentent les arènes de manière différente. Nalla vit les arènes de l'intérieur grâce à l'amitié qui le lie aux deux lutteurs. Sory, lui, reste en périphérie. Son personnage permettra de découvrir l'environnement des arènes, la vie nocturne de Dakar et l'âpreté du quotidien.
Les rôles de Malaw, d'André et de " Tonnerre " sont interprétés par de véritables lutteurs. J'ai obtenu l'accord des deux plus grands champion de lutte : Mohamed Ndao dit " Tyson ", la star du moment (chacun de ses combats est un événement national), joue le rôle de Malaw. André est interprété par un autre champion : Tapha Gueye. Ces deux champions ont ramené le spectacle dans les arènes. Un lutteur est à la fois chanteur, danseur et combattant. C'est un artiste. Je veux que les lutteurs interprètent leur propre rôle afin de pouvoir capter le naturel des gestes."

- Cheikh Ndiaye

I always wanted to shoot a film about the world of wrestlers. When I read Aminata Sow Fall’s novel L‘Appel des arènes (The Call of the Wrestling Arenas), I knew I could fulfill this wish. The friendship between Nalla and a wrestler touched me in particular. With the support of the Amiens Festival, I was able to write a script version of the novel. The protagonists Nalla and Sory provide the viewer with a glimpse of the various facets of life in the big city of Dakar. The two young men approach the wrestling arenas in different ways: Sory remains more on the margins. In contrast, Nalla’s friendship with the two wrestlers André and Malaw gives him direct access to the matches and their inner workings. With Sory we discover the environs of the arenas, Dakar’s nightlife, and the harshness of everyday life there. Some of the characters in the film are played by professional actors, some by amateurs. Real wrestlers play Malaw, André, and “Thunderbolt“. Two of them are among Senegal’s most famous wrestlers: Mohamed Ndao, named “Tyson” is currently the star of the scene. Each of his fights is a national event. He plays the role of Malaw. Another successful wrestler, Moustapha Gueye, plays André. These two wrestlers brought new entertainment value to the matches. Wrestlers are simultaneously singers, dancers, and fighters - they are artists. To keep their movements as authentic as possible, it was important to me to have the wrestlers in the film played by real wrestlers.

- Cheikh Ndiaye


Cheikh Ndiaye was born in Dakar, Senegal
and studied film editing and directing at the Conservatoire libre du cinéma français (CLCF) in Paris.
L‘APPEL DES ARENES is his first full-length feature film.


1994: Toumouranké (Documentary, 52 Min.).
1996: Mousso (short film, 17 Min.).
1999: Dipri la puissance du séké (documentary, 44 Min.).:
2002: Myaé (L‘être, documentary, 26 Min.). 2005



Cheikh Ndiaye
5-7 rue de Lesseps
75020 PARIS