The 2012 African World Documentary Films

18 Days

Tarek Abouamin (Egypt) - 19min

In an 18-day popular uprising that toppled a decades-long oppressive regime, the people of Egypt rose to change the social and political landscape of the region and the world. Many Egyptians paid with their lives in a fight against corruption and autocracy. They fought bravely for basic civil liberties, justice and freedom from a government that tortured, murdered its citizens, and embezzled billions of public money. Countless people risked their lives to tell the story to the world. This film is made with footage shot by protesters, revolutionaries, and everyday Egyptians.

400 Miles to Freedom

Avishai Mekonen, Shari Rothfarb Mekonen (USA) - 60min

In 1984, the Beta Israel, a secluded 2,500-year-old community of observant Jews in the northern Ethiopian mountains, fled a dictatorship and began a secret and dangerous journey of escape. Co-director Avishai Mekonen, then a 10-year-old boy, was among them. The documentary follows his story as he breaks the 20 year silence around the brutal kidnapping he endured as a child in Sudan during his community's exodus out of Africa, and in so doing explores issues of immigration and racial diversity in Judaism.

A Lot like You

Eliaichi Kimaro (Tanzania) - 80min

Eliaichi Kimaro is a mixed-race, first-generation American who traces her father's footsteps back to a coffee farm on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. There she discovers both the beauty and the brutality of this world her father left behind 40 years earlier. This film raises questions about the cultures we inherit and the cultures we choose to pass down, and reveals how simply bearing witness to another's suffering can break silences that have lasted lifetimes.

Abyssinia Ethiopia Meeting Point (Abyssinia Ethiopia terre des faces brul'eacute'es)

Denis Khalifa (France) - 51min

The meeting of Genet, an Ethiopian Jew and Salomon, an orthodox Christian, takes us into the heart of Ethiopia's history and religious traditions. They travel 900 km, showing us their unique universe. They finally arrive into the whirlwind of the Ethiopian Epiphany, the most spectacular and colorful event in the Horn of Africa.

Abyssinia Ethiopia Meeting Point (Abyssinia Ethiopia terre des faces brul'eacute'es)

Denis Khalifa (France, Ethiopia) - 51min

The meeting of Genet, an Ethiopian Jew and Salomon, an orthodox Christian, takes us into the heart of Ethiopia's history and religious traditions. They travel 900 km, showing us their unique universe. They finally arrive into the whirlwind of the Ethiopian Epiphany, the most spectacular and colorful event in the Horn of Africa.

Back to Mandima

Robert-Jan Lacombe (Switzerland, DR Congo) - 40min

The film maker returns to his birth place in Mandima, the small village in northeast part of Democratic Republic of Congo after 15 years to find his birth village and his three best friends. The documentary journeys with Robert-Jan, the son of European parents, in his attempt to bring closure to an idealized childhood and free himself from its spells. The film maker discovers what friendship means, beyond skin color and when one can take the plane to visit while the other can't?

Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest

Michael Rapaport (USA) - 97min

Having forged a 20-year run as one of the most innovative and influential hip hop bands of all time, the Queens NY collective known as 'A Tribe Called Quest' have kept a generation hungry for more of their groundbreaking music since their much publicized breakup in 1998. The director documents the inner workings and behind the scenes drama that follows the band to this day. He explores what's next for, what many claim, are the pioneers of alternative rap.

Body and Soul (De corpo e alma)

Matthieu Bron (Mozambique) - 54min

The film tells the stories of three young Mozambicans with physical disabilities, living in the townships of Maputo, Mozambique’s capital city, performing dance, the art of the body. The documentary follows the daily lives of these three young Mozambicans and reveals their physical, psychological and emotional challenges. In a world where visual input (physical appearance, clothes, etc.) is a powerful basis for social judgment and positioning, the film tries to explore the way they look at themselves and others as well as raises universal questions about self-acceptance and how to find one’s place in society.

Brother Time

Wesley Shrum (Kenya, USA) - 56min

Brother Time is a mythic tale of neighbors from different tribes caught in a wider conflict. Kenya erupted in ethnic violence after the 2007 Presidential election, and the two friends fell apart when, suddenly, it was 'not the brother time.' Filmed in the Rift Valley during the clashes, the roots of tribalism are explored as one who saw the worst of the conflict returns home to see his neighbor. To be released during the 2012 Presidential campaign, this message of hope shows it can be Brother Time once again.

Build Something Modern

Nick Gogan (Ireland, Kenya, Nigeria) - 70min

Build Something Modern is a touching and revealing film about people and their special relationship with the things they create as they reflect on it many years later. The film tells the little known history of architects in Europe designing hundreds of Modernist buildings for Africa in the 1960s and 70s, without ever going there.

Colors of the Dominican Carnival

Donna Pinnick, Ruben Duran (USA) - 54min

The colorful, chaotic, subversive, upside down world of carnival in the Dominican Republic is explored in a new documentary, Colores del Carnaval Dominicano. Colores took shape over the course of four years as the filmmakers travelled three times to the Dominican Republic and shot hundreds of hours; over a terabyte of digital film of interviews with mask makers, musicians, anthropologists, and the masqueraders who create the characters at the heart of carnival. They took to the streets of Santo Domingo to capture the joyful chaos, outrageous costumes, bizarre characters mugging for the camera. The result is a documentary set to the dancing rhythms of merengue, a tribute to the Dominican people, to their imagination, resilience and pride.

Dominica: Charting a Future for Paradise

Wyatt Bardouille (Dominica, USA) - 36min

Dominica: Charting a Future for Paradise is a story about the nature island of Dominica. It is a story of vision and determination, about how this this small Caribbean country overcomes the challenges of nature, limited resources and a stagnant population to sustain herself as an independent nation. In 2008, Dominica celebrated 30 years of independence from Great Britain with an extraordinary nationwide reunion. It was a time for Dominica, local and abroad, to reflect on past struggles and achievements and share a vision of their future.

Donsoya, la voie du chasseur (Donsoya, The Way of the Hunter)

Sebastien Bariller (France, Mali) - 43min

We invite you to discover the amazing world of the West African traditional hunters' brotherhoods. Most precisely, you'll get introduced to malinke master hunters in Mali, who'll explain the goals and rules of their ancient society.

Fambul Tok

Sara Terry (USA) - 82min

Victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone's brutal civil war come together for the first time in an unprecedented program of tradition-based truth-telling and forgiveness ceremonies. Through reviving their ancient practice of fambul tok (family talk), Sierra Leoneans are building sustainable peace at the grass-roots level -- succeeding where the international community's post-conflict efforts failed. Filled with lessons for the West, this film explores the depths of a culture that believes that true justice lies in redemption and healing for individuals - and that forgiveness is the surest path to restoring dignity and building strong communities.

Family Portrait in Black and White

Julia Ivanova (Canada) - 99min

Olga Nenya, from a small Ukrainian town, is raising sixteen black orphans in the country of Slavic blue-eyed blonds. The reality of growing up as a bi-racial child in Eastern Europe, a rare and truly visible minority, is not for the faint of heart. These children always have to be on guard against the world that surrounds them.

Give a Damn?

Dan Parris (USA) - 92min

The documentary is about three friends from St. Louis, two Christian idealists and one militant atheist, who agree to attempt to live in extreme poverty, on $1.25 a day, across 3 continents to discover their responsibility to the poor. The story follows them as they leave their homes in St. Louis, hitchhike across the United States, backpack across Europe and travel to Africa. The film takes a devastating turn when two of them survive a deadly plane crash in Africa, and all three must fight in their own way to finish what they started.

Goodbye Mandima (Kwa Heri Mandima)

Robert-Jan Lacombe (Switzerland, DR Congo) - 11min

As a 10-year-old born and growing up in Mandima, the small village in northeast part of Democratic Republic of Congo (then still Zaire), Robert-Jan Lacombe, the son of European parents, never thought he would have to say goodbye. In this poignant short documentary, the director looks back on his unique and carefree childhood while studying a panoramic photograph documenting the day he left behind the only way of life he had ever known.

I Love Africa

Suzanne Africa Engo (USA) - 100min

When celebrity AIDS Activist and a native Cameroonian, Suzanne Africa Engo, gains 120 pounds becoming an obese woman she vows she will lose 100 pounds and run from NY to Chicago before the next world AIDS day. But the journey doesn't end in Chicago she ends up continuing to run around the world proving that to change the world first she has to change herself.

In Our Ghetto

Marcus Hed (Nigeria) - 24min

A documentary based on the making of the Kinabuti Show, a Nigerian based fashion label that launched its first collection in December 2010. Kinabuti chose to work with aspiring models from varying communities of Port Harcourt. In the twenty days prior to the event, film director Marcus Werner Hed documented the challenges and daily progress of this major project, placing a special focus on three of the twenty-two participants and aspiring models. By following them on a daily basis as well as interviewing them during and after the, In Our Ghetto, depicts the lives of these three girls who despite their impoverished and challenging backgrounds, continue to fight in order to make their aspirations a reality and become what they dreamt they wanted to be.

Indochina: Traces of a Mother (Indochine Sur Les Traces D'une Mere)

Idrissou Mora Kpai (Benin, France) - 74min

Between 1946 and 1954, over 60,000 African soldiers were enlisted to fight the Viet Minh. Pitted against one another by circumstances, these two colonized peoples came into contact and a number of African soldiers took Vietnamese women as wives. Out of these unions, numerous mixed-race children were born. At the end of the war, the colonial army ordered that all the black children be repatriated to Africa, officially to protect them from the Viet Minh. While some children left with their mothers and fathers, others were simply taken away by their fathers, leaving their mothers behind. Abandoned in orphanages, those that had neither mother nor father were put up for mass adoption by African officers, as was the case with Christophe. Christophe long avoided facing the scars and identity complexes left by this abrupt separation from his mother and homeland. By encouraging him to undertake a journey into his own past, the film opens a little-known chapter of the Indochina war.

Jamesie, King of Scratch

Andrea Leland (Virgin Islands, Denmark, USA) - 70min

An engaging and spirited musical journey to the Caribbean, this documentary focuses on Scratch band music, an indigenous, grass-roots form of folk music from the Virgin Islands. 79-year old James Brewster is an uncompromising, humorous, and provocative musician known for his playful compositions and lively performances and is the legendary 'King of Scratch'

Jeans'amp' Mart'ograve'

Claudia Palazzi, Clio Sozzani (Italy) - 52min

Roba comes from a remote Ethiopian village. From the day Roba was born, his path was a matter of tradition. However, his willingness will conduct him toward very surprising destinations and through a series of amazing events: an escape from an arranged marriage, the internal doubts of a young fighter, a terrible drought in the Kerrayu clan's lands, an unexpected journey to Italy, the death of his brother killed in an ethnic conflict, and the coronation of the big dream - achieving the degree. The documentary reveals the complexity of the Ethiopia of the new millennium, constricted between modernity and tradition. Roba's unique and privileged point of view provides a new way of considering a very burning issue of present time.

Kontinuasom: A Documusical from Cape Verde

Oscar Martinez (Spain, Cape Verde, Portugal) - 78min

Betti lives in her homeland -Cape Verde- where she is a dancer in the company Raiz do Polon. When she is offered the chance to join a Cape Verdean music show in Lisbon and launch a new career for herself in Portugal, it sets off a deep and essentially Cape Verdean conflict inside -the identity constructed over the centuries by the diaspora of her people. Doubts and feelings of melancholy and homelessness hang over her and accompany her as she attempts to make her decision.

Murder in Mesopotamia

Andy Abrahams Wilson (USA) - 14min

A young mother, much loved in her hometown of Mesopotamia, is brutally shot to death in this poor village of the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. The cold-blooded murder happened a day before she was to give court testimony against a man accused of raping her. Circumstances point to the accused rapist as the killer, but he is set free for lack of evidence. The townsfolk and victim's family talk poignantly about their fears and their desire for justice; vigilante or divine. 'An eye for an eye' and 'a tooth for a tooth' originating in ancient Mesopotamia, takes on modern-day meaning in a forgotten village of the same name.

My Long Distance Friend

Carina Molier (the Netherlands) - 73min

OG is a beautiful young woman who has wandered around Europe since she left Zimbabwe at the age of 9. From then on she has struggled to survive, continually seeking a balance in her life. OG strives to regain custody of her daughter taken from her at an early age. Director Carina Molier - her long distance friend - follows her in her quest for reunification and peace of mind. The documentary is about displacement, about longing for security and relationships in an ever globalizing and inhospitable world.

No More Selections! We Want Elections!

Sengbe Kona Khasu (Liberia) - 70min

In 2005, the Liberian people took to the polls to vote for a president. It would be the nation's first democratic elections since the bloody coup of 1980. From former child soldiers to village elders, Liberians gathered at voting booths (many for the first time in their lives) to vote for a president from a field of 23 eager candidates. The Liberian people chose Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a former World Bank employee, over soccer superstar George Manneh Weah after two rounds of voting, making her Africa's first democratically elected woman President. Emphasizing the voices of Liberia's largely unheard majority, the documentary film chronicles this amazing story, capturing the hopes of a people struggling to rise and rebuild from a difficult past.

Otelo Burning

Sara Blecher (South Africa) - 96min

It is 1989 and the struggle against apartheid in South Africa has reached its peak. Based on real events, the documentary tells the powerful story of three Zulu boys, Otelo Buthelezi and his friends, escape from the misery of their own harsh township lives through the joy of surfing. Overcoming his traditional fear of the water, Otelo Buthelezi discovers a natural talent, finding freedom on the waves and a huge potential for change through surfing. But in the turmoil of a country on the cusp of change, he is dragged down into a spiral of jealousy and violence. As Nelson Mandela finally walks free, Otelo must choose between two worlds that will change his life forever.

Polar Reversal

Alistair Johnson (Canada) - 4min

Based on a scene from the 1934 film 'Imitation of Life' this short documentary illustrates the central absurdity of racism. It does this using a uniquely powerful device, reversing the polarity of Euro/African racism. This system claimed to divide White from Black but that is a conceit and the distinction was between White and non-White. Anyone with a trace of African ancestry was a slave or regarded as inferior. By reversing the polarity we create a Black/non-Black world so that anyone with a trace of European ancestry is regarded as inferior. This is counter intuitive and visually stunning. This short film shows how and why that came about and that for all the pain and suffering it causes the racist premise is completely ridiculous.

Real Voodoo

Sandra M. Whiteley (Haiti, Canada) - 52min

In January 2010 a few days after Haiti suffered a massive earthquake, evangelical leader Pat Robertson went on air to blame the devastation on Haitians' 'pact with the devil' He was talking about Voodoo Was he right? Is Voodoo evil? To find out we decided to ask 'What is Voodoo? After many trips to Haiti pre and post-earthquake you know what we found? This is not Pat Robertson's Voodoo. It is something else. We think we have seen the Real Voodoo and we think you will be amazed when you see it too.


Roderick Steel (Brazil) - 46min

The documentary explores the Egungun cult in the city of S'atilde'o Paulo, Brazil, in a temple founded in the late 60s. Traced back to the first Yoruba slaves transported to Brazil from Nigeria and Dahomey, this ancient form of religion dresses and worships ancestor spirits. In the film High Priest Z'uacute' 'who works during the day as an upholsterer - shares experiences accumulated over 20 years within a community that has refused to relinquish its own religious identity while observing a strict code of conduct. Z'uacute; also offers insights into the fine line between art, craft and religion, and shows us how ancestor worship in the 21st century can help boys become men, reveal future generations of priests, transform the lives of those in need of spiritual and emotional guidance, and bring ancestors back to life.

Rwanda: Beyond the Deadly Pit

Ndahayo Gilbert (Rwanda, USA) - 100min

Signed cinema-verite, 'Rwanda: Beyond the Deadly Pit' was filmed over the course of three years in Rwanda and devastatingly contemplates a young film-maker's drama in first person as he confronts his parents' murderer in Rwanda's trials and post-genocide realities. This documentary is an unforgettable quest of forgiving and unforgiving the mass murderers.


Maria Luisa Gambale, Gloria Bremer, Steven Lawrence (Senegal, USA) - 60min

Rapper, singer and activist, Sister Fa is hero to young women in Senegal and an unstoppable force for social change. A childhood victim of female genital cutting (FGC), she decided to tackle the issue by starting a grassroots campaign, 'Education Without Excision,' which uses her music and persuasive powers to end the practice. But until 2010 there's one place she had never brought her message 2013; back home to her own village of Thionck Essyl, where she fears rejection. Sarabah follows Sister Fa on this challenging journey, where she speaks out passionately to female elders and students alike, and stages a rousing concert that has the community on its feet. A portrait of an artist as activist, Sarabah shows the extraordinary resilience, passion and creativity of a woman who boldly challenges gender and cultural norms. It's an inspiring story of courage, hope and change.

Shooting Freetown

Kieran Hanson (UK) - 29min

A decade since Sierra Leone's devastating civil war, from the ashes rises a new dawn of creativity in audio-visual media. Inspired by Jean Rouch's 'shared anthropology' and 'ethno-fiction', Shooting Freetown follows three people forging their way in film and music in the nation's capital, facing the constant struggles with vision and resourcefulness. By incorporating collaborative video projects, their stories give a fresh image of post-war Freetown - presented to the world through their own lens.

State-Theatre #1 Lagos

Daniel K'ouml'tter (Germany) - 24min

The National Theatre of Nigeria in Lagos was built for the second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture in 1976. It is the only state-subsidized theatre in Nigeria. While its smaller halls are occasionally used for theatre performances, banquets and weddings, the 5000 seat main hall has been deserted since the early 1990s. A reopening was scheduled for 2010 but postponed indefinitely after a series of changes in direction.

Street Journeys

Tracy Christian (USA) - 58min

For the street children of Nairobi, hope for the future is dim-until renowned Kenyan actress Anne Wanjugu lifts their spirits and awakens their joy through the power of the theater. Given a home and the chance to express their gifts on stage, the orphaned children flourish, but an unexpected event puts their resilience to the test as they journey from down-and-out Nairobi to the bright lights of Broadway.

Sunday in Brazzaville

Enric Bach, Adri'agrave' Mon'eacute's (Spain, Congo) - 51min

A young radio talk host, Carlos La Menace, unveils in his weekend show three figures of Congo's capital, Brazzaville. The Sapeur Yves Saint Laurent, surrounded by extreme poverty, chooses elegance as a way of life. Cheriff Bakala is not a usual rapper. Finally, Palmas Yaya, Brazzaville's wrestling champion is relying on voodoo to defend its throne in a crucial moment of his life...

Surfing Soweto

Sara Blecher (South Africa) - 85min

Over the course of the last 3 years Cinga Productions has been following and documenting the lives of three of the most notorious train surfers in Soweto: Bitch Nigga, Lefa and Mzembe. We have followed them on to the top of trains hurtling through Soweto. We have followed them into the heroin dens of Hilbrow, and jails with names like Sun City - all in the hope of understanding their frustrations and documenting the lives of the new generation of youth in Soweto. Surfing Soweto is the story of this forgotten generation.

Talibe - The Least Favored Children of Senegal

Daniela Kon (Senegal) - 57min

The important tradition of Islamic education in Senegal has been left to develop in disturbingly perverted ways. 50.000 koranic students (Talibes), young boys between 4 and 15 years old are subjected to exploitation in conditions akin to slavery. They are forced to beg on the streets by their koranic schoolteachers and suffer severe physical abuse and neglect. Following the staff of local grassroots NGO 'La Maison de la Gare' (MDG) during their daily efforts to find solutions for the terrible conditions the boys are subjected to, the documentary sets out on a poetic exploration of the nature and circumstances that breed and prolong the suffering of these children.


Jacquelyn Lobel (USA) - 16min

Tengenenge is a village of sculpture artists located in a remote region of Zimbabwe. The film explores the history of the village, and reveals a slice of life in Tengenenge, a community that has withstood the odds and continues to survive because of its people's passion, energy and solidarity. Tengenenge is a glimmer of joy and optimism in a country on the brink of collapse.

The Big Banana

Franck Gilles Brice Hameni Bieleu (Cameroon) - 85min

In the coastal region of Cameroon, in Central Africa, a western conglomerate has set up a lucrative exploitation of dessert banana for over 30 years. This lucrative business should normally generate wealth and economic growth for community as well as for the company, instead, the plantation workers barely manage to survive with as low as 40 dollars per month work over 15 hours a day, health issues arise due to the use of toxic chemical product use to treat banana trees, people get expropriated by the state in favor of the almighty big banana company so it can generate billions of profits. People of the Moungo region are failed by their government and their representatives who are bought and paid for by the company.

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

G'ouml'ran Olsson (Sweden) - 92min

The film mobilizes a treasure trove of 16mm material shot by Swedish journalists who came to the US drawn by stories of urban unrest and revolution. Gaining access to many of the leaders of the Black Power Movement' 'Stokely Carmichael, Bobby Seale, Angela Davis and Eldridge Cleaver among them' the filmmakers captured them in intimate moments and remarkably unguarded interviews. Thirty years later, this lush collection was found languishing in the basement of Swedish Television. Director Göran Olsson and co-producer Danny Glover bring this footage to light in a mosaic of images, music and narration chronicling the evolution one of our nation's most indelible turning points, the Black Power movement. Music by Questlove and Om'Mas Keith, and commentary from prominent African- American artists and activists who were influenced by the struggle -- including Erykah Badu, Harry Belafonte, Talib Kweli, and Melvin Van Peebles -- give the historical footage a fresh, contemporary resonance and makes the film an exhilarating, unprecedented account of an American revolution.

The Creators: South Africa through the eyes of its artists

Laura Gamse (South Africa) - 81min

Step into the lives of six artists sculpting South Africa's future from the fragments of a tumultuous past. The Creators explores the chaotic reality of modern day South Africa by peering through the eyes of its artists. Born into separate areas of the formerly-segregated country, the individuals reinterpret history in their own artistic languages. Weaving through the lives of Faith47 (street art), Warongx (Afro-blues), Emile (hip-hop), Sweat.X (performance), Blaq000 Pearl (spoken word) and Mthetho (opera), the film culminates in an intertwined multi-plot. As we grow closer to the individuals, we notice stark differences in their perspectives, exposing an intimate, refreshing, and deeply revealing portrait of those remolding the legacy of apartheid.

The Garifuna Journey

Andrea Leland (USA, Belize) - 46min

Genocide, exile, Diaspora and persecution did not break the spirit of the Garifuna people, descendants of African and Carib-Indian ancestors. The Garifuna resisted slavery and fought to maintain their homeland on the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean. For this love of freedom, they were exiled from St. Vincent to Roatan in Honduras by the British in 1797. Despite exile and subsequent Diaspora, their traditional culture survives today. It is a little known story that deserves its place in the annals of the African Diaspora. In first person Garifuna voices, this documentary presents the history, the language, food, music, dance and spirituality of the Garifuna culture and its link to the Carib-African past.

The Great Mafia Orange Squeeze

Sophia Luvara (UK) - 28min

Italy's Southern region of Calabria behaves like a rogue State. Here, the 'Ndrangheta (Calabrian Mafia) hold sway. They are the de facto Government, the de facto law and, in the countryside, the main employer. Thousands of African Immigrants have found this out the hard way. Quasi legal migrants, coming direct from Africa are drowning to Calabria by the work - harvesting oranges. What awaits them is pure misery and semi-slavery. They become trapped by government bureaucracy and by poverty. Their employers are the Mafia, so they have little course to complain about the level of wages. They cannot leave Italy, they don't have the right papers, yet they cannot join society, because they have not got the right papers. On one night in January this year, two of them were shot by the locals in Rosarno. The mostly young African men rioted in this small backwater town, which is dominated by the Ndrangheta.

The Orishas of Cuba

Leona Anderson (Canada, Cuba) - 18min

A partial documentation of the ritual interaction between devotees of Santeria, an Afro-Cuban religion that is flexible and eclectic, and a select group of Orishas in Regla, Cuba. Each of the Orishas is associated with a particular force of nature and each has its own personality, its own rhythm and its own interests. Through prayer, ritual actions and music, santeros (devotees of Santeria) seek to communicate with the divine and maintain the balance of these forces.

The Other Documentary

Yassine El Idrissi (Morocco) - 58min

The documentary follows Mustapha, a disabled street performer, who sings ten hours a day to earn a living in the capital city of Morocco, Rabat. The film is a reflexive portrait into the manipulation and bi-directional influence between documentary making and the subject of the film. It also tries to investigate the nature of the media and its influence on the story.

The Royal Knowledge

Molteni Francesco (Tanzania, USA) - 23min

Near Arusha (Tanzania), Msei Pete and Mama C, two former Black Panther from the 70's, run the UAACC (United African Alliance Community Center). The Center is founded on the principle of sharing knowledge in order to empower the community. Three years ago, they open an orphanage inside the center to give home to the parentless children of the area. The documentary follows the children at the orphanage exploring and recording their world using video cameras.

The Royal Knowledge

Molteni Francesco (Tanzania, USA) - 23min

Near Arusha (Tanzania), Msei Pete and Mama C, two former Black Panther from the 70's, run the UAACC (United African Alliance Community Center). The Center is founded on the principle of sharing knowledge in order to empower the community. Three years ago, they open an orphanage inside the center to give home to the parentless children of the area. The documentary follows the children at the orphanage exploring and recording their world using video cameras.

The Story of Lovers Rock

Menelik Shabazz (UK) - 97min

In the 70s and 80s Britain was rife with racial tension and police harassment particularly against black British youths. These youths were the rebel generation who were also searching for an identity. They created music - a sub-genre of reggae known as Lovers Rock. This music became a global brand through artists like UB40 and Maxi Priest.

The World's Youngest Nation: South Sudan

Viktor Pesenti (USA, UK) - 50min

After 60 years of civil war, the Republic of South Sudan has emerged as the world's youngest nation. The documentary filmed on location in the Republic of South Sudan, explores the emergence of a new nation from civil war and its many hurdles. The Republic of South Sudan is not only the world's newest nation but it is also one of its youngest, with 70 percent the population being under 30 years of age. Yet it is the youth who give the new nation hope. Through the eyes of five Southern Sudanese youths, this documentary explores not just the politics of the country but also the creativity and courage of its youth in art, music, sports and education.

Thembi's Diary

Jisoo Kim (South Africa) - 6min

Thembi's Diary is an animation made from a true audio documentary. It is based on an NPR Radio Diaries program which gave out audio recorder to teenagers around the world. One of them was Thembi, a 17 years old South African girl with HIV/AIDS. Although her disease is harsh for a 17 year old, Thembi talks to her virus every morning. With a calm voice she says that as long as it leaves her alone she will do the same.

These Streets Belong To Us

Shareen Anderson, Lisa Henry (South Africa) - 54min

The documentary looks at how ordinary South Africans are coping with the scourge of crime and violence. The film tells of three different Johannesburg communities: Kensington, a middle class suburb that is jolted into action after a street security guard is murdered while on duty; Alexandra, a mostly poor black township that has formed a community policing forum that patrols the streets, lending a helping hand to the overburdened police; and Hillbrow, a densely populated inner city neighborhood, which was a 'no go' zone for police for many years, but is now undergoing massive regeneration. The film is an inspiring look at how neighbors from disparate lives become empowered to stand up and take back their community, with a hopeful vision of the future.

Twilight Revelation: Episodes in the Life & Times of Emperor Haile Selassie

Yemane I Demessie (Ethiopia, USA) - 58min

The documentary film explores and analyzes watershed events during the reign of the former Ethiopian emperor, Haile Selassie. Using a wealth of archival footage and photographs, the documentary reexamines the imperial administration through the eyes of numerous notable individuals who played substantive roles and worked closely with the emperor. The featured witnesses include former ministers, a general, a state attorney and a judge, parliamentarians, high ranking civil servants and staff from the royal court. It also featured members of the royal family including his grandchildren. The observations and narratives of these individuals shed a new light on the personality, leadership style and the myth behind Ethiopia's last emperor.

Twilight Revelation: Episodes in the Life & Times of Emperor Haile Selassie

Yemane I Demessie (Ethiopia, USA) - 58min

The documentary film explores and analyzes watershed events during the reign of the former Ethiopian emperor, Haile Selassie. Using a wealth of archival footage and photographs, the documentary reexamines the imperial administration through the eyes of numerous notable individuals who played substantive roles and worked closely with the emperor. The featured witnesses include former ministers, a general, a state attorney and a judge, parliamentarians, high ranking civil servants and staff from the royal court. It also featured members of the royal family including his grandchildren. The observations and narratives of these individuals shed a new light on the personality, leadership style and the myth behind Ethiopia's last emperor.

Volcanic Sprint

Steve Dorst (Cameroon, USA) - 53min

The sleepy town in Buea in the Southwest Province of Cameroon hosts Africa's most grueling footrace: the Mt. Cameroon Race of Hope, a marathon-length sprint 10,000 feet up a live volcano... and back down again. To conquer the mountain, racers must overcome some of the cruelest conditions in sport: temperatures fluctuate 50 degrees, altitude sickness claims the weak, and loose volcanic stones can cause serious injury--and even death--as runners fly back down the mountain.

We Want What's Ours (Sifuna Okwethu)

Bernadette Atuahene (USA) - 19min

We Want What's Ours is a documentary short filmed in South Africa and is about loss, resistance, identity and the elusiveness of justice as experienced by the Ndolila family in their quest to get back their family land stolen by the apartheid government in 1973. Standing in their way are working class black homeowners who purchased portions of the Ndolila's land in the 1990s. For the homeowners, the land and houses they have legally purchased are a reward for their hard work. For the Ndolilas, the land is part of their family legacy and hence deeply intertwined with their identity. Both sides have a legitimate right to the land, but whose rights will prevail?

We Win or We Die

Mathew Millan (USA) - 21min

February, 2011. The people of Benghazi revolt against the brutal regime of Moammar Gaddafi. Yet standing in the way of liberation is the 2-mile sprawling fortress known as the Katiba. Holding hundreds of soldiers and heavy artillery, it stands poised to rain death down upon the protesters. The film is the story of an ordinary Libyan who understands that there is but one way to stop the bloodshed and one way to gain freedom. The sprawling fortress, the fist of Gaddafi, the Katiba must fall...

White and Black: Crimes of Color

Jean-Fran'ccedil'ois M'eacutean (Tanzania, Canada) - 58min

In the East African region ten times more people have albinism than in North America and Europe. In Tanzania and parts of East Africa certain corrupt healers traffic in the body parts of persons with albinism (PWA). They sell them for magical potions and amulets to anyone who will dare to use them and prey upon deep-seated and long-standing prejudices and superstitions. Vicky Ntetema, former BBC Tanzania Bureau Chief, investigates the murders of PWA sweeping the country. She takes us into the lives of those terrorized by this scourge and we experience through their own eyes their fear and their courage.

Who is Wright

Mike Mo, Kevin D'Angelo (USA) - 25min

Step into the daily struggle of a young beat and rap artist from South Philadelphia who fights to keep his dream alive in spite of certain family dilemmas. In documenting the daily life of Julius Wright, a beat artist and MC, the film reveals the unnerving realities with which many young South Philadelphians live. Angered at the world and his position in the gun-battle and drug-riddled environment surrounding him, Julius attempts to find solace in rap beats that he and his peers perform. As "Lyrical God", his rap persona, he strives for acceptance in the local hip-hop community. Music may be Julius' way out. He has the ability to bring people together through his beats; however, he struggles to bring his own family together.

Why Do You Want To See My Face

Iqbal Barkat (Australia) - 9min

This short film follows a young refugee as he wanders through his new home in Sydney, Australia. We are privy to his thoughts and reflections - how can he, life uprooted, learn to make small, tentative steps to live again in another land? How does he show his face when everywhere he turns, it is the mark of a problem? Through his soliloquy run themes current to the political and social landscape of Australia 'illegal immigrants; who is a 'legitimate' refugee; the obligations that are expected of a refugee or migrant and what does it mean to be Australian. The narrator talks directly to a general fear of the other.

Without a Net

Kelly J Richardson (USA) - 60min

Djeferson, Barbara, Rayana and Platini live in a drug controlled slum of Rio de Janeiro. Their families are struggling, their homes are physically unstable and everyone they know has dropped out of school. When a big-top circus tent suddenly appears in a nearby parking lot, they decide to take a chance. They learn trapeze, acrobatics, juggling and contortion, then audition for the end-of-year show, rehearse and prepare for the curtains to part on opening night. Along the way, 'Without A Net' celebrates the perseverance and resiliency of youth in the face of tremendous odds.

You Must be Something

Lynn Groft (USA) - 13min

The documentary journeys with Sunny Ntayombya, who was born in Uganda and raised in Canada, after his parents fled their native Rwanda to escape growing ethnic violence in 1959.In this short documentary, Sunny grapples with his identity growing up as a refugee and returning to Rwanda after the 1994 genocide and the return of stability.

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