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Renaud Farah, Roger Sallah, Mentor Ba, Yann GaeL in Saloum
Renaud Farah, Roger Sallah, Mentor Ba, Yann GaeL in Saloum. Courtesy of LACME STUDIOS

Here is the first look clip from Saloum, the Senegalese supernatural thriller from writer/director Jean Luc Herbulot world premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in Midnight Madness.

Saloum (Senegal) is described as a cool and kinetic genre-shifting supernatural thriller in which a legendary trio of on-the-run mercenaries carrying a stolen gold bounty and a kidnapped drug lord take refuge in a remote and mystical area of Senegal, where creepy curses and sinister ancestral forces unleash hell on them all.

Uniquely inspired by African-Carribean folklore and mysticism as well as western and action/horror hybrids such as From Dusk Till Dawn and Predator, Saloum was written & directed by acclaimed African filmmaker Jean Luc Herbulot (Netflix’s Dealer, Canal + Afrique’s Sakho & Mangane) and is the producing debut of Senegal-based filmmaker / entrepreneur Pamela Diop.

Amidst Guinea-Bissau’s coup d’état of 2003, Bangui’s Hyenas, an elite trio of mercenaries, skillfully extract a drug dealer and his bricks — both gold and narcotic — from the chaos and make tracks for Dakar, Senegal. But when their escape plan is unexpectedly waylaid, the Hyenas find themselves and their bounty stranded in the Sine-Saloum Delta, a coastal river realm steeped in myth and mystery, where dark ancestral forces unleash hell on them all.

Writer-director Jean Luc Herbulot ignites the fuse of his inspired genre-shifting thriller, burning through exquisite episodes of suspense before exploding into full-blown action-horror. As with Herbulot’s Netflix series Sakho & Mangane, which stylishly wove a supernatural thread through a gripping police procedural’s own twisting trajectory compellingly invokes African-Caribbean folklore and mysticism as it refashions cues from western genre hybrids like From Dusk Till Dawn and Predator into its unique cultural context. The results are infectiously cool and an exhilarating introduction to a fascinating mythos full of creepy curses, sinister spirits, and an instantly iconic ensemble of horror heroes.

Watch the first clip from Saloum

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