Stay Up follows Malian dancer Mariam Doumbia as she tells her life story through dance, and prepares for her final performance at a dance school in Ouagadougou. For Miriam, fleeing from Mali and migrating to Burkina Faso gave her the possibility to start a new life and heal from the traumas experienced back home, where her family rely on her for their own survival. Now a confident and exuberant young woman on the cusp of motherhood, she is reflecting on the traumas of her own childhood in Mali, where she suffered repeated sexual abuse as a child and a teenager. Through dance Mariam has found the resilience to build a new life.
After studying dramaturgy at the University of Ouagadougou, Aissata OUARMA turned to cinema and was trained on many film sets. In 2010, she won the best script award at the “Ciné Droit Libre Festival” in Burkina Faso with her film project “Le silence des autres”. She participated in writing residencies in Burkina Faso, Senegal, Germany, France and Switzerland before enrolling at the “Institut Supérieure de l’Image et du Son” for a master’s degree in creative documentary. Her graduation film won several awards, including the Best Documentary Film Award of the African Film Schools in 2015. In 2016, she was awarded a grant for a writing residency at “La Fémis” summer school in Paris. She directed her first medium-length film in 2017 with a French production.