Mati Diop
Mati Diop

2 - Simon Killer - a mystery/suspense/drama directed by Antonio Campos that centers on a recent American college graduate who travels to France, where he becomes involved with a prostitute.

A recent college graduate goes to Paris after breaking up with his girlfriend of five years. His life should be open-ended and full of promise, but he can’t shake his feelings of loss. Being a stranger in a strange land only aggravates his situation. When he falls in love with a young mysterious prostitute, a fateful journey begins. Though we soon learn that Simon is the one with deeper secrets.

My main attracting to the film is co-writer as well as co-star Mati Diop, the niece of the late great Senegalese filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambéty (a name that's come up a few times on S&A; he directed African cinema classics like Touki Bouki and Hyènes).

And on top of her abilities as an actress and writer, Mati Diop also a director. At 30 years old, she's been making films since she was 22, when she directed her first film, a short titled, Last Night; another short film she helmed, Atlantiques, was screened at the IFFR in 2010 in the Tiger Awards Competition Short Films section.

Her films most recently screened in the Experimenta strand of the 56th BFI London Film Festival, last fall.

But she's rooted in a tremendously gifted family background. I'd guess that frequent questions and comparisons to her late great uncle's work are common.

In Simon Killer, Brady Corbet stars as Simon, the college graduate who travels to France; and Mati Diop plays the Parisian prostitute whose life he gets involved with, and where this journey, an entrancing, bold and provocative cinematic character study, begins.

The consensus seems to be that this is a film that will introduce her to American audiences, which could mean Hollywood may come calling, which could further mean that we'll see more of her work, whether as actress, writer or director.

IFC Films picked it up last fall, released it in the spring.