West African migrants in Valencia, Ouloulou, Baldé and Doucouré, talk daily with their marabout back home who recommends rituals for their papers in Europe. Meanwhile, in Mali, Bakary prepares for his second try crossing the Mediterranean, this time by following rituals prescribed by his marabout.
Ouloulou, Baldé and Doucouré are three young immigrants from West Africa. They say they faced the crossing of the Mediterranean, thanks to their marabout or spiritual guides who recommended prayers and rituals. Once they arrived in Valencia, Spain, they kept in touch with their marabout in the hope that he would continue to improve their living conditions. In Mali, Bakary, who has already tried to cross the sea without success, is preparing this time for a new journey under the eye of his marabout. Every day, in Mali, Valencia, Madrid or Turia, these young people perform rituals, pray and listen to the advice of a marabout through their smartphones, which has become an indispensable spiritual connection. A real modern-day cellular gris-gris. Together, in their hectic daily lives, they take us into the world of African spirituality in the age of new technologies.
Seydou Cissé is a graduate of the Fresnoy- Studio National des Arts Contemporains and the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers in Bamako. Originally from Mali, his work is largely influenced by the ancestral culture of the country, its traditions, and superstitions but also the various mutations that animism has undergone through contact with other cultures. In his productions, he mixes temporalities and invites one on a journey in the universe of textures and colours apprehended as elements to be tamed. He uses different techniques and media to do this, making the material the structuring element of many of his works. In tune with the questions posed by traditional African society and the mysteries of the occult, his works give a central place to nature and the practices used by man to connect with the mystical world. Rituals, sacrifices, incantations and gris-gris thus enter into dialogue with technology and new media, as in his film Faraw ka taama, where he highlights the similarities between animism and the world of animation. Through the exploration of many media, such as video, painting, sculpture, photography or installations, he questions a central issue: which of nature and technology is ultimately at the service of the other?
LES FILMS DU BILBOQUET
Eugénie Michel-Villette initiated the activity of Les Films du Bilboquet in 2014. Since then, she has produced about twenty films presented in international festivals such as A Mansourah, tu nous as séparés (Vision du Réel, IDFA, JCC), Tinselwood (Berlinale, FID), Chaque mur est une porte (Cinéma du Réel), Boxing Libreville (Visions du Réel), Brûle La Mer (FID, JCC, Berlin Critic Week) and released in theatres. Before creating her company, she worked as an executive producer on many documentary films and as a fiction development manager at Zadig Productions. Eugénie is a regular speaker in documentary masters or residencies and was a member of the CNC and Procirep commissions. She has participated in the Eurodoc programme and is a member of the Friends of Amis du Cinéma du Réel, the RHIZOM producers’ association in the Hauts de France, lectures at the Jules Verne University in Amiens and co-directs the Yaoundé Film Lab.
Dieudonné Alaka is a film producer and lecturer, researcher at the University of Yaoundé I. Director of the Tara Group company, holder of a PhD in Performing Arts and Cinema, he set up the Yaoundé Film Lab which is a development and international co-production laboratory for Central Africa. He also launched the professional Master in Cinema at the University of Yaoundé I in partnership with his company Tara Group. Since 2015, he has developed, produced and co-produced several films in Cameroon, Mali, Burkina Faso and France. He has participated in several international forums and co- production meetings such as Ouaga Film Lab, Produire au Sud workshop at the Festival des Trois Contient de Nantes in Agadir, Morocco, Producer Networks of the Carthage Film Festival in Tunisia (2017), the Cannes Film Market, and international documentary meetings in Saint Louis, Senegal, from 2014 to 2017. The films he produces have received numerous awards and have been selected in many festivals (Berlinale, Vision du Réel, Cinéma du Réel, Ecrans Noirs).
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.
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.