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Aïssa Maïga
Aïssa Maïga Césars 2017.jpg
Aïssa Maïga in 2017
Aïssa Maïga

(1975-05-25) 25 May 1975 (age 44)
OccupationActress, Producer
Years active1997–present

Aïssa Maïga is a French actress from Senegalese origins.[1]

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Interview avec la comédienne Aïssa Maïga
  • ✪ Portrait intimiste d’Aïssa Maïga (1ère partie) - Thé ou Café - 09/06/2018





Aïssa Maïga was born in Dakar, Senegal to a Malian father and Senegalese mother. She and her mother left Senegal for Fresnes in France, where she lived until the age of nine. She showed an interest in movies at a very young age and was not satisfied being a mere movie-goer. On a school field trip to a theater, she was able to slip away from her teacher and make her way back stage. In high school she took her first acting classes with Daisie Faye, who today is artistic director of a Jazz and comedy festival that provides a more liberal curriculum. At the age of 14 and for three years, she was in The longest night (1992) a musical comedy by her teacher and during this time, appeared at the Mogador Theater and in the Follies Bergères

She graduated from high school after three years of study, including theater studies and worked on an artistic project in Zimbabwe, Eric Cloué’s Le royaume du passage. She was 19 years old. Working with local actors in Zimbabwe, she discovered street theater and decided to become an actress.


Aïssa Maïga at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival
Aïssa Maïga at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival

Early acting

She made her feature film debut, appearing in Denis Amart's Saraka Bô. She followed that up in 2000 playing a rebellious young girl in Hanake's Code Inconnu, starring Juliette Binoche. Aïssa Maïga has developed her versatility by taking on such a great diversity of roles. In 1999, she worked with New Wave director, Alain Tanner, in the sequel to the 1975 cult film Jonas, playing Lila in Jonas and Lila.

In Alexandre Jardin's 2001 comedy, Le Prof, she worked with Jean-Hughes Anglade, playing a student. Then she worked with Murielle Robin and Fejira Deliba in Marylin, a film dealing with the social and economic insecurity and solidarity among cashiers. She collaborated once again with Haneke in Caché (2005), playing with Juliette Binoche, Daniel Auteuil and Denis Podalydès. She also appeared in several television series.


In her desire to consolidate all she had learned, she returned to her studies, this time with Hélène Cheruy Zidi, at the Actor’s Lab. Her perfectionism was well worth the effort. In 2007 she starred in two features, distinguishing herself in the role of Kassia in Kapiche’s Poupés Russes and in Claude Berry’s L’un reste,l’autre part. Aïssa Maïga made her mark on French cinema through a series of roles and fortuitous meetings with films such as Je vais bien, ne t’en fais pas with Melanie Laurent and in Oliver Schmitz’s short "Place des Fetes" in 2006's Paris, je t’aime.

In 2007 she was nominated for a Best Actress César for her role as Melé, a disillusioned bar singer in Abderrahamane Sissako’s Bamako. In this role she sang Christie Azuma’s “Naam” without knowing the language.

Although she had numerous film successes (Michel Gondry’s L’Ecume des jours, art films and comedies, i.e. Prête à tout, TV films such as Toussaint L’Ouverture, 2012), her popularity was not an obstacle to a return to the stage in Brooklyn Boy (2004), Les grandes personnes, adapted from the book by Marie N’diaye as well as in David Lindsay-Abaire’s Des gens biens.

She plays an African mother who tells the story of African intellectuals’ immigration through the lens of the life of French rapper, Kamini and his family in the 2016 movie Bienvenue à Marly-Gomont.

International career

In 2012, she appeared in Cristina Comencini’s Bianco e Nero with Thierry Ebouaney, a performance that won her two awards: Cinema i Done and the Festival de Bastia award.

She was also on the set of Mickey Dubé’s Comatose in South Africa in 2016.

In 2018 Aïssa appeared in the Irish RTE drama "Taken Down" written by Stuart Carolan, playing a main role to critical acclaim.


For several years, she has been the ambassador of AMREF, an African NGO dedicated to training medical personnel involved in caring for mothers and children. In 2012, she went to Uganda on a humanitarian mission.

In 2018, she initiated an essay reuniting sixteen black actresses and french personalities, from different origins, religions, ages, and carriers in order to discuss about the discriminations they were and are facing in this industry. This essay is called Noire n’est pas mon métier (black is not my job). Nadège Beausson-Diagne, Mata Gabin, Maïmouna Gueye, Eye Haïdara, Rachel Khan, Aïssa Maïga, Sara Martins, Marie-Philomène Nga, Sabine Pakora, Firmine Richard, Sonia Rolland, Magaajyia Silberfeld, Shirley Souagnon, Assa Sylla, Karidja Touré and France Zobda wrote this manifesto as a testimony of their lives in this racist environment with a lot of humor and self-mockery. Indeed, as a black woman, Aïssa Maïga is facing difficulties and had to deal with racism in castings. During the projection of Burning in may 2018 for the Festival de Cannes, she walked, along with her co-writers, through the stairs, raised their fists and danced on Rihanna’s Diamonds song. They also formed the collectif Diaspora, who claim the possibility to obtain any type of role.


Year Title Author Director Notes
2004 Brooklyn Boy Donald Margulies Michel Fagadau Comédie des Champs-Élysées
2011 Les Grandes Personnes Marie NDiaye Christophe Perton Théâtre national de la Colline
2015 Good People David Lindsay-Abaire Anne Bourgeois Théâtre Hébertot


Year Title Role Director Notes
1997 Saraka bô Danièle Denis Amar
1998 La revanche de Lucy Lucy Janusz Mrozowski
Le cadeau de maman Patrick Halpine Short
Un mois de réflexion Sylvie Serge Moati TV Movie
1999 Jonas et Lila, à demain Lila Alain Tanner
Maison de famille Sylvie Serge Moati (2) TV Movie
2000 Code Unknown Black Girl Michael Haneke
Le prof Julie Alexandre Jardin
Lise et André Esther Denis Dercourt
Marie-Line Malika Mehdi Charef
Mom's Present Farida Patrick Halpine (2) Short
2001 Voyage à Ouaga Loutaya Camille Mouyéké
2002 Georges chez les tops Gisela Olivier Chrétien Short
Négro Aïssa Karim Akadiri Soumaïla TV Movie
2003 Mes enfants ne sont pas comme les autres Myriam Denis Dercourt (2)
Les baigneuses Rita's sister Viviane Candas
Rien que du bonheur Anna Denis Parent
Commissaire Moulin Dolly Joyce Buñuel TV Series (1 Episode)
Les Cordier, juge et flic Aline Gilles Béhat TV Series (1 Episode)
2004 Libre armada Ingrid Gogny, Vincent Jaglin, ...
Par accident Constance Jérôme Foulon TV Movie
2005 Russian Dolls Kassia Cédric Klapisch
Caché Chantal Michael Haneke (2)
L'un reste, l'autre part Farida Claude Berri
Travaux, on sait quand ça commence... Condé's fiancé Brigitte Roüan
Le train The barman Brahim Fritah Short
Sometimes in April Young Militant Raoul Peck TV Movie
P.J. Marie-Laure Vecchiali Christophe Barbier TV Series (1 Episode)
2006 Bamako Melé Abderrahmane Sissako Nominated - César Award for Most Promising Actress
Paris, je t'aime Sophie Oliver Schmitz
Don't Worry, I'm Fine Léa Philippe Lioret
I Do Kirsten Hansen Éric Lartigau
Mamdou il est où ? Mariettou Khady N'Diaye Short
Une famille parfaite Martha Patrick-Mario Bernard & Pierre Trividic TV Movie
2007 L'âge d'homme... maintenant ou jamais ! Tina Raphaël Fejtö
Carcasse Aïssa Ismael El Iraki Short
2008 Black and White Nadine Cristina Comencini Bastia Italian Film Festival - Best Actress
Les insoumis Kathia Claude-Michel Rome
Sex, Okra and Salted Butter Amina Mahamat Saleh Haroun TV Movie
2009 Diamant 13 Farida Gilles Béhat (2)
L'aide au retour The official Mohammed Latreche Short
Pas de toit sans moi Ashanti Guy Jacques TV Movie
Suite noire Sara Dominique Cabrera TV Series (1 Episode)
2010 Ensemble, c'est trop Clémentine Léa Fazer
Le temps de la kermesse est terminé Martina Frédéric Chignac
L'avocat Ève Cédric Anger
2011 Mineurs 27 Aminata Tristan Aurouet
Dédicace Elise Olivier Chrétien (2) Short
2012 HOUBA! On the Trail of the Marsupilami Clarisse Iris Alain Chabat
Today Nella Alain Gomis
One Man's Show Elisa Newton Aduaka
Toussaint Louverture Suzanne Philippe Niang TV Mini-Series
2013 Mood Indigo Alise Michel Gondry
Aya of Yop City Aya Alain Chabat Voice
Mortel été Julie Denis Malleval TV Movie
Luchon International Film Festival - Best Actress
2014 Prêt à tout Alice Nicolas Cuche Globes de Cristal Award for Best Actress
2015 Mystère à la Tour Eiffel Henriette Léa Fazer (2) TV Movie
2016 The African Doctor Anne Zantoko Julien Rambaldi
Corniche Kennedy Awa Dominique Cabrera (2)
Love Is Dead Léane Éric Capitaine
2017 Il a déjà tes yeux Salimata Aloka Lucien Jean-Baptiste
2019 The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Agnes KamKwamba Chiwetel Ejiofor


External links

This page was last edited on 17 July 2019, at 13:02
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