by Gessica Généus
Benin, Haiti, France | 2021 | 99 min | OV with Engl. Subs
AFRIKAMERA closes with a production from the African diaspora. Freda lives with her family in a popular neighborhood in increasingly troubled Port-au-Prince. She worries about her education and the future of her crumbling homeland. Freda, her materialistic brother Moïse, and her younger sister Esther make ends meet by working alongside their devout evangelical mother Jeanette in the small store in their home. Amid the growing chaos, each of the siblings pursues their own idea of happiness. One by one, they are given the chance to leave dangerous Port-au-Prince behind. But Freda wants to stay, while at the same time fighting at school against the progressive erasure of Haitian culture by white influences.
The impressive family drama, at the same time a political film against patriarchal oppression in Haiti, celebrated its premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival in the series “Un certain regard”.
Gessica Généus is an actress, singer and director from Haiti. She began her career when she was 17 years old. After the earthquake in 2010, she became actively involved in the reconstruction of her country and she started working for the United Nations. She then won a scholarship to study at Acting International in Paris. She returned to Haiti and created her own production company, Ayizian Productions, to develop her own work. Between 2014 and 2016 she directed “Vizaj Nou”, a series of short portraits of major figures from contemporary Haitian society. In 2017, her documentary film “Douvan jou ka leve” (The Day Will Dawn) won seven awards. It continues to be shown around the world. FREDA is her first feature film.
by Tawfik Baba
Morocco | 2020 | 93 min | OV with Engl. Subs
The feature film debut of Moroccan director Tawfik Baba tells the story of young Vendredi, who crosses the desert alone to realize his dream of working for a circus in Morocco. On the way, he meets “White Man”, an old man, on his way to his granddaughter’s wedding. They develop a special relationship and help each other in several life-threatening situations. At that point, however, Vendredi has no idea that he has fallen in with a human trafficker…
Tawfik Baba is a filmmaker living in Ouarzazate, Morocco. His studies included French literature at university and then directing and screenwriting at the French art and media school STUDIO M in Casablanca. He loved writing as a teenager and tried to write poems, short stories and philosophical essays. When he lived in Ouarzazate, he worked in many different departments in shooting films such as “Rules of Engagement”, “Cleopatra”, “Babel”. In 2013 and 2014, as a screenwriter, he received the Moroccan Film Center Promotion Award for one short film each, and subsequently directed five more short films. In 2017, he wrote and directed his first indie feature film: OLIVER BLACK.
by Hamza Ouni
Tunisia, Qatar, France | 2020 | 114 min | OV with Engl. Subs
In his long-term documentary made over a period of twelve years, Tunisian director Hamza Ouni follows the eccentric Mehrez in his hometown of El Mohammedia. At the age of 25, Mehrez decides to enlighten and challenge a community of unemployed, frustrated youth with the means of theater. With heart and soul, as well as all the financial resources at his disposal, he throws himself into teaching and his troupe begins to flourish. Suddenly, however, Mehrez finds himself in prison, and his plans are on the verge of collapse …
THE DISQUALIFIED lets the audience* participate in the contradictory life of a gifted dancer and actor who struggles daily with himself and the contradictions of his country.
Hamza Ouni, Tunisian filmmaker, born in 1975 in El Mohammedia, where he still lives today. After a first cycle of film studies at the North African Film Institute, he continued his education at the School of Arts and Cinema in Tunis, where he specialized in screenwriting. He then participated in a series of workshops on screenwriting. “El Gort,” his first feature-length documentary, which was screened as a world premiere at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, received the Best Filmmaker Award in the Arab World and an International Criticism Award from the International Federation of the Film Press (FIPRESCI). He also received the 2014 Talent Dove at the DOK Festival in Leipzig and the Bronze Tanit
SUN 21 NOV
16.00 HUMBOLDT FORUM
by Daniel Kamwa | South Africa, Cameroon | 2019 | 118 min | OV with German Subs
with an educational program by Rebecca Pokua Korang
in the presence of Daniel Kamwa
“Petit Jo, Enfant des Rues” tells the story of a mixed-race boy in Cameroon who, despite a few strokes of fate, refuses to be diverted from his path.
When Father Moussima finds an abandoned infant in the corridor of the hospital in Bonabéri, his decision is immediately clear: he wants to take care of the boy as a single father. No matter what the neighbors say – he masters the challenges of being a parent with calm and bravura and officially adopts Jo despite all the bureaucratic hurdles. At 12, Moussima sends him to a Lutheran boarding school. When Jo’s foster father dies and he wants to transfer to middle school, he is finally caught up with the past – his birth certificate is missing …
Daniel Kamwa’s film adaptation of the book of the same name by Evelyne Mpoudi Ngollé shows the realities of life for children and young people who, due to the circumstances into which they were born, have to take uncertain and risky paths in life and are left to their own devices, and at the same time the necessity of community in these realities. Kamwa opens up the question of morality, the complexity of good and evil in terms of survival, and highlights the cultural as well as socio-political context of Cameroon.
An interactive contextualization of Cameroon will introduce the film screening. The two-hour film will be shown with an intermission. During the intermission, director Daniel Kamwa will be asked questions about the film, which will serve as reference points for the young audience to continue watching the film. There will be a Q&A after the screening.
The screening will be moderated by Rebecca Pokua Korang. She has been working with AFRIKAMERA since 2017. Rebecca is a performative artist, empowerment trainer and works in mobile youth work in Berlin. Her artistic research focuses on identity, migration and German colonial history in Ghana.
Born in Cameroon, Daniel Kamwa has been in the film business for almost 45 years. After his acting training at the Cours Simon, he was a member of Peter Brook’s theater research group for two years. He then began acting in theater, film and television productions while attending film school at the University of Paris VIII. In 1972-73 he made his first short film “Boubou-Tie” with Marpessa Dawn, the leading actress of “Orfeu Negro” (Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1959 and Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1960) as his partner. “Pousse-Pousse”, his first feature film, was released in 1975 and became a great commercial success. Producer, writer, director and actor, he is also a dubbing artist in French. He lent his voice to the main characters in “Live and Let Die” – “The Ghost and the Darkness” – “Gorillas in the Mist”, among others, and not to forget he dubbed Morgan Freeman in the role of President Nelson Mandela in” Invictus “by Clint Eastwood
by Atef Ben Bouzid
Germany | 2017 | 82 min | OV with Engl. Subs
In the presence of Atef Ben Bouzid – Q+A
At the center of Atef Ben Bouzid’s documentary is the charismatic Egyptian pianist Amr Salah. With few resources but all the more dedication, he has been organizing the Cairo Jazz Festival since 2009. The film, set to shimmering jazz sounds, provides rare insights behind the scenes of the festival and at the same time offers an unusual view of the Egyptian megacity Cairo and a young generation that longs for a cultural and political awakening and advocates for liberality and openness.
Atef Ben Bouzid, a German journalist, director and producer living in Berlin, has worked for national and international media, specializing in sports, music and society. He is particularly interested in the many aspects of human interaction and communication across cultures and countries. Most recently, Atef Ben Bouzid directed and produced the documentary CAIRO JAZZMAN and celebrated its world premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2017.
Most recently, CAIRO JAZZMAN won the Audience Award at the Jazz Film Festival Copenhagen in 2020.
by Philippe Lacôte
Ivory Coast, Senegal, France, Canada | 2020 | 93 min | OV with Engl. Subs
La Maca (“Maison d’Arrêt et de Correction d’Abidjan”), the prison of Abidjan, located in the middle of the forest on the outskirts of the city, is one of the most overcrowded in West Africa. One of the inmates, the aging and ailing prisoner Blackbeard is an increasingly controversial “dangoro.” To maintain his power, he resumes the tradition of the “novel,” a ritual that consists of forcing a prisoner to tell stories throughout the night.
In a griot role, the young street criminal Zama must tell a story by sunrise if he wants to save his life and prevent the prison from descending into chaos. He chooses the story of notorious gang leader Zama King … In a fascinating way, oscillating between griot story and fantasy tale, this visually stunning epic from the Ivory Coast was submitted as an entry for the 2021 Academy Awards in the Best International Film cate-gory and was one of 15 films shortlisted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Philippe Lacôte grew up in Abidjan near a cinema – the Magic. His work as a director had taken various forms before he made his debut in 2002 with “Chronicles of War in
the Ivory Coast,” a film on the border between documentary and diary, he focused on his country’s recent history. This was followed by the feature film “Run”, the story of a wandering madman, which was selected in Cannes 2014 at ‘Un certain regard’. This selection confirmed his talent as a filmmaker and showed a new voice of the African continent. “La Nuit des Rois / Night of the Kings” his second feature film, is a dive into the largest prison in West Africa during a red moon night.
by Maia Lekow & Christopher King
Kenya | 2019 | 81 min | OV with Engl. Subs
Nearly 100 years old, Margaret Kamango is a gentle, ironic woman – and is threatened with death. When a Facebook message is leaked to her grandson Karisa, who lives in Mombasa, accusing his grandmother of witchcraft, he decides to return to his home village to get to the bottom of it. During the research, it comes to light that his grandmother is not the only one branded as a witch … Without prejudice, the two directors Maia Lekow and Christopher King deal with the phenomenon of witchcraft in today’s Kenya and draw a portrait of a society undergoing radical change.
Recommended for young people 14 years and older.
Maia Lekow is a Kenyan filmmaker and musician. Since founding Circle and Square Productions in 2009, Maia has worked as a director, producer and sound engineer for various film and music projects. She has performed on stages around the world and continues to compose music for films. She received an African Movie Academy Award for her song Uko Wapi and was named an ambassador for UNHCR on World Refugee Day 2013.
Chris King is an award-winning filmmaker based in Nairobi, Kenya. Born in Australia, he studied at the University of Melbourne’s School of Creative Arts before moving to Kenya in 2007, where he worked as a cinematographer, editor, animator, director and producer on short films, feature films (fiction and nonfiction) and music videos. In 2009, Chris co-founded Circle and Square Productions with his wife Maia, and in the same year received an African Movie Academy Award in the editing category for his work on the Kenyan feature film From a Whisper. THE LETTER is Maia and Chris’ first documentary film.
by Nicole Schafer
South Africa, Sweden | 2019 | 90 min | OV with Engl. Subs
Ennock is one of three hundred orphans from rural Malawi who have been placed in a Buddhist Chinese orphanage. The children and teenagers here must speak Mandarin, maintain Buddhist traditions, and are trained to master the difficult art of Shaolin Kung Fu.
The documentary by South African director Nicole Schafer offers intense insights into the lives of the children caught between the conflicting worlds of traditional village life and the strict discipline of the Chinese Confucian-Buddhist value system. Against the backdrop of China’s growing influence on the continent, Schafer’s film poses highly topical questions about education as indoctrination and about the right balance between seizing educational opportunities and surrendering one’s identity.
South African director Nicole Schafer (b. 1980) developed BUDDHA IN AFRICA over years of work. Nicole has lived in Malawi, where she produced award-winning stories for the pan-African Reuters magazine ‘Africa Journal’. Her other productions include South Africa’s leading investigative program ‘Carte Blanche’, Lonely Planet TV’s ‘Six Degrees’ and ‘Sport Traveller’. Nicole is the director of Thinking Strings Media, a production company based in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal. She holds an MFA degree in Film and Television Production from the Uni-versity of Cape Town. Her graduation film, “The Ballad of Rosalind Ballingall,” was screened at the 2006 Frijbourg Film Festival.
von Françoise Ellong
Cameroon | 2019 | 88 min | OV with Engl. Subs
In this abuse drama, four people dressed in black get out of a cab in the opening scene. Although friends since childhood, they have not met for many years since their time together in a church orphanage. They are all hiding something from each other. On a soccer field in the middle of nowhere, they dare to play a game that brings demons they thought forgotten back to life …
Françoise Ellong was born in Douala, Cameroon in 1988. After studying information and communication technology in Paris, she completed a master’s degree in film and post-production at Greenwich University in London in 2006. Until 2012, she realized a total of nine short and experimental films as a screenwriter and director. Some received awards at international festivals, including the short film “Nek”(2010), which deals with the theme of guilt and atonement. While she had previously produced her short films in England and France, she shot her first feature film “W.A.K.A” entirely in Cameroon.
by Ayten Amin
Egypt, Tunisia, Germany | 2021 | 96 min | OV with Engl. Subs
Mansoura, a town in the northern Nile Delta. Souad, a 19-year-old medical student, leads a double life. While she appears conformed and wearing a veil in the circle of her family and society, Souad develops a completely different image of herself on Facebook and Instagram. Gradually reality intrudes into her dream world – until a series of small incidents leads to a tragic event…
With her latest feature film, Egyptian director Ayten Amin has created a drama whose story is representative of the challenge of the search for identity among millions of young people in post-revolutionary Egypt, caught between upheaval and Islamic conservatism.
Ayten Amin was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1978. She studied film criticism at the Egyptian Cinema Writers and Critics Association and then film at the Art Lab of the American University in Cairo. Her graduation film “Her Man” (2006) is based on a short story by Egyptian writer Ahdaf Soueif and was presented at several festivals. The film “Tahrir 2011: The Good, the Bad, and the Politician”, which she co-directed, premiered in Venice. Her feature film debut “Villa 69” (2013) was screened at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Malmö and Cannes.