Miriam survivor of childhood sexual abuse in Mali and escaped to Burkina Faso to build a new life. She is now a dance and choreography student and sets on a path to healing by confronting her demons.
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.
Sékou Traoré is a director and producer from Burkina Faso. After obtaining a degree in the science of language at the University of Paris V René Descartes, he created Sahelis Productions with other partners in 1992. With this production company, he produced about twenty feature films and forty short films. In 2007, the creation of Abissia Productions enabled him to direct his first feature film, L’œil du Cyclone, which was presented at Fespaco in 2015 and won seven awards, including the Etalon de Bronze. The film has won thirty-two other awards worldwide. Since 2006 he has worked as a co-writer on TV series such as Le nouveau Royaume d’Abou. In 2013 Sékou was the general manager and executive producer on Abderhamane Sissako’s Timbuktu.
Don Edkins is a South African documentary filmmaker and producer based in Cape
Town. He has produced documentary film projects that have been broadcast around
the world, such as Steps for the Future, Why Democracy? and Why Poverty? earning
multiple international awards, including an Oscar for Taxi to the Dark Side, and the
Special Teddy Award at the 63rd Berlinale for Steps for the Future. The Peabody
awarded Why Poverty? Project, with documentary films from 21 countries, was
screened globally by 70 broadcasters. He is Executive Producer of AfriDocs, a free-to-
view VOD platform and broadcast strand across Africa that screens the best African
and international documentary films. He is currently producing a new documentary film
project with African filmmakers across the continent, Generation Africa, around the
theme of migration. He is a mentor for the Berlinale Talents, Durban FilmMart, and
Docs by the Sea in Indonesia, and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Tiny Mungwe is a documentary film and arts producer. She currently works at STEPS
(Social Transformation and Empowerment Projects) where she produces Generation
Africa, a pan-African anthology of 25 documentary films from 16 countries in Africa, on
the topic of migration. Mungwe’s films include Akekho uGogo, a 48 minute
documentary about urban youth culture, which screened at several festivals including
the Durban International Film Festival, Apollo Film Festival and DOKANEMA Festival.
Her short film script Evelyn was selected for the National Film and Video Foundation
(NFVF) Women Filmmaker Project and she directed another short film in the program,
Daddy’s Boy. She has written for some of the highest rating South African television
dramas such as Muvhango and Matatiele, and was one of the directors on the series
Uzalo. For several years she worked as a festival organizer and programmer for four
international festivals, namely Time of the Writer, the Durban International Film
Festival, Jomba! Contemporary Dance Festival and Poetry Africa. During that time she also worked on the program for Durban FilmMart (the co-production market of the festival) and Talents Durban (a career development program for emerging African filmmakers in partnership with Berlinale Talents). She continues to work as a program curation associate for the Durban FilmMart. She also programmed and curated the city of Durban’s inaugural book and art fair, ARTiculate Africa.