21 April, 2022

Migration from an African Perspective: African Encounters at DOK.fest München 2022

At DOK.fest München this year, four films and a panel discussion will focus on migration from an African perspective – a topic usually discussed from a Eurocentric perspective. With their works, young filmmakers from the African continent want to bring change in the perception of flights and refugees. The films are part of the documentary series Generation Africa, produced by the non-profit media organisation STEPS from South Africa, some of which were co-produced by ARTE and will soon be broadcast on the channel.

The four films will be shown on 6 and 7 May during the special “African Encounters”. The focus is on encounters and exchanges with filmmakers from the African continent. Directors Claudine Shenge Ndimbira (Rwanda), Babucarr Manka (The Gambia), Akuol de Mabior (South Sudan) and producer Sam Soko (Kenya) will present their films in person in Munich and will be available for interviews. The audience can get to know them in the Q&As after the screenings as well as in a panel discussion that will take place in cooperation with DW Akademie, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and ARTE.

The panel discussion will focus on the filmmakers’ view of migration. What does the change of perspective mean, especially with regard to the continent’s young generation? Can documentary films have a political effect and contribute to change? On the other hand, the filmmakers on the panel will talk about new models of co-production between Africa and Europe. The panel discussion will take place on 7 May at 10:00 in the Audimax of the University of Television and Film Munich.

Barbara Off (Director DOK.network Africa): “DOK.network Africa is an important project that presents the independent African view of its own societies and history. Over the years, the eponymous network has become bigger, stronger and more diverse, also thanks to the support of the Goethe-Institut and Engagement Global. I am extremely pleased that this year, with STEPS, the DW Akademie as well as ARTE, we have strong partners who will once again take the project to a new level.”

The following four films from the documentary series Generation Africa can be seen during the special “African Encounters”:

(Director: Shameela Seedat / South Africa, Finland – 2022 / 85 minutes) Friday 6 May – 18:00 Neues Rottmann

Every year, over a hundred of the best law students from all over Africa meet at the African Moot Competition to try a fictitious case in a simulated trial before the African Court of Human Rights. This time it is about the rights of refugees on the continent. Shamila Seedat, a human rights lawyer herself, accompanies the teams from Uganda, Kenya, Egypt and South Africa in her film – a pan-African meeting where the coming generation of Africa’s legal elite shows what to expect in the future.

(Director: Claudine Ndimbira / Rwanda, South Africa – 2022 / 20 minutes) Saturday 7 May, 14:30, HFF Audimax

Akili, a Congolese woman, has lived as a refugee in Burundi before coming to Rwanda. Her journey has seen her family displaced and separated and she herself has been held and tortured in prison at risk of death. Through her resilience and fighting spirit she found herself a place in the world through boxing until misogyny took that away from her also. Through telling her story, she tries to deal with all the loss she’s experienced.

(Director: Babucarr Manka / The Gambia, South Africa – 2022 / 36 minutes) Saturday 7 May, 14:30, HFF Audimax

On behalf of the EU, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) organises the repatriation of refugees to their home countries and their reintegration on site. Young men are supposed to build an existence for themselves. Paabi is one of them. But the start-up capital paid out is soon gone, spent on clothes or given away to friends. The attempt to earn money on the timber market fails. At the same time, his father expects support for the extended family. For the third time, the journey to Europe seems to be the only way out.

(Director: Akuol de Mabior / Kenya, South Africa – 2022 / 85 minutes) Saturday 7 May, 19:00, Amerikahaus

Director Akuol de Mabior goes in search of the homeland she has never lived in: South Sudan. Her father John Garang de Mabior founded the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in 1983. After more than 20 years of fighting for freedom, he died in 2005 as Vice President of Sudan. Her mother Rebecca Nyandeng de Mabior is fighting for her husband’s legacy. In 2020, she is be elected one of the five vice presidents of the young state. She wants to make it a place worth living in but the political reality is different.

Written by DOK.fest München

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