Born 1950 in Bamako, he graduated from Bamako High School and worked as a history teacher before focusing on filmmaking. After being trained at the National Film Production Center (CNPC) in Bamako, Diabaté directed his first short film Veillée à Bolongué in 1986.
His directorial methods were eventually polished because of his work as assistant director of all major films of CNPC. Between Mali and Burkina Faso, he directed films using 16mm, 35mm and now digitally shot films. In 2003 he directed the first Malian kinescope film, the documentary Malian Walk then, in 2010, he realized his first feature Da Monzon, the Conquest of Samanyana that was screened in LAFF’s first edition.