2019 Edition

Moustapha Alassane

Moustapha Alassane

Animation Artist


1942 - 2015

He is the first pioneer of animation cinema in the Sub-Saharan Africa Alassan’s inception in Niger, which is one of the poorest countries in the world, was a challenge to him. In the mid-fifties of the twentieth century, he was impressed as a young man when he watched for the first time an animated film inside a travelling cinema in his hometown N’Dougou, north of Niger. This drove him to work hard to learn how to use the camera film through the tutoring experiences of the French Jean Rouch who took him as assistant in films he was shooting in Niger. Later on, Moustapha traveled to Canada with the help of John to learn the arts of motion pictures and especially animation. There, Alassan directed his first short Wedding Marriage in 1962, followed by his first animated film “The Death of Gandhi” in 1963, that made the first sub-Saharan African who directs a film through that technique.  In 1972, Alassane directed his first long film “Women Cars Villas Money”, which addressed the issue of nouveau riche in his homeland. The Great Samba was one of his most important outings because he used puppetries to tell the story of King Samba, ruler of Niger during the Middle Ages. Alassane has served as head of cinema department at the University of Niamey from which graduated new generations of animation pioneers like Oumar Ouganda, Moustapha Diop, and ,Djingarey Maïga. He received numerous honors from international festival, including Cannes 2007 where he got the Order of Merit from the French president for his leadership in African cinema, from Annecy International Animated Film Festival, from ASIFA 2009 as the most important animation artist in Africa and in luxor african film festival 2013