French/Rwandan Actress Sonia Rolland Heading To Michigan This Summer To Shoot 'Radio Days'

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by Tambay A. Obenson
April 23, 2013 12:42 PM
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I've done many projects including Desordres, and this summer I'll be in Michigan shooting a movie called "Radio Days" where I play a French Senegalese woman, then I'll appear in French filmmaker Tavernier's movie Quai D'Orsay.

From French/Rwandan actress, Sonia Rolland, in an interview with EuroMight.com, talking about her upcoming projects.

We've covered  Désordres (Chaos) extensively; it opened in France last week, but no word on whether it'll travel west. 

The other 2 projects she mentions are news to me. Of most interest is Radio Days, in which she plays a French Senegalese woman; it's of most interest because I can't find a single thing about it online. 

The other, Quai D'Orsay, comes from renowned French film director Bertrand Tavernier, and is described as a dark comedy inspired by the famous French comic book of the same name, which chronicles the story of the French Foreign Ministry's inner workings at a moment of international crisis - that being the beginning of the war in Iraq. 

Rolland's role in that film appears to be peripheral, based on my research.

When I learn more about Radio Days I'll pass on the info.

But Ms Rolland seems to be busy on both sides of the Atlantic, recently playing Josephine Baker in Woody Allen's Midnight In Paris (although she wasn't on screen for very long); Those familiar with Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck's last film, Moloch Tropical, will recognize Ms Rolland, as she figures prominently in it, as wife of President Jean de Dieu Théogène, played in the film by Zinedine Soualem; she also plays a supporting role in director Philippe Niang's Toussaint L'Ouverture.

The 32-year old Rolland, who lives in Paris, France, was born in Kigali, Rwanda, to a Rwandese Tutsi mother and a French father. The family escaped to France preceding the Tutsi genocide, when the actress was in her teens.

Crowned Miss France a few years later, in the year 2000, she would go on to represent the country in the Miss Universe pageant, placing 9th overall in the final standings.

Since 2002, Rolland has been afforded a number of onscreen opportunities, both in TV and film, so her acting career has been a relatively short one, with her most prominent role coming in the French TV series Lea Parker, in which she starred as the titular character, which ran for 2 seasons, from 2004 to 2006.

Apparently, Ms Rolland is quite famous in France, though she's making her mark in the African continent, where she founded an association to help post-genocide orphans in Rwanda.

This spring, she will step behind the camera for the first time to direct a short film titled An Ordinary Life.

Details are limited, but I can tell you that it's in development, and its synopsis reads:

Nadia and her little brother Gaël live alone with their mother in a council estate. Nadia has been taking care of Gaël for some time in the absence of their mother who is receiving an education, 300 miles away from home. Nadia calls her mother every night to tell her about her day. After a fight at school, Nadia is expelled, and doesn't dare tell her mum the truth. But her mother comes back home earlier than expected...

And as you can probably imagine, drama ensues.

Up next, catch her in the French thriller, Désordres (Chaos), alongside Isaach de Bankole, which I hope travels, because I'd really love to check it out, based on the trailers and clips we've posted... like the one below:

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2 Comments

  • jeanette's daughter | April 24, 2013 12:23 PMReply

    can't wait to see it! guess i'll have to wait for one of the local art cinema places. love bankole, love french film. new and beautiful faces always welcome in the cinema. just tickled!

  • Simone | April 23, 2013 7:58 PMReply

    Désordres (Chaos) come to theater last week, the movie is only programmed on 2 theater, Etienne Faure who directed the movie penned a open letter to denounce this situation, he asked why the mainstream cinema UGC and Pathé/Gaumont have blacklisted them, i wrote and article in my website about this problem. UGC and Pathé/Gaumont said they hve no place, they have too many films to program, Etienne Faure said than he only want a few theater where the movie can be showed. The 2 distributors didn't answer. Some poeple explain that is racism because Sinia Rolland and Isaack De Bankole are black, i mentioned this fact on my article but i say people can say that because they no proof. The problem come from the way they money to the movie, they used crowd funding, they didn't used the classic way with CNC who are the French national cinema committee, they do everything alone. In France a part of the price of theater tickets go to CNC to help finance the other film, they provided "Avance sur recette", they give director money to produce before the film come in theater, and the movies be release, the director give the money back. But you need to send your screen play at CNC commission, some people say that is very hard to be selected when you're unknown director and they criticize the system, but UGC and Pathe/Gaumont pour have obligation to finance movie also owe the theater, some people think that they only play the film were the put money. I hope a solution will be found.

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