African Encounters: Generation Africa shifting the narrative

Migration and film production in Africa


AFRICAN MOOT 2022 by Shameela Seedat


African Encounters! With a new name and concept, Africa presented its Africa focus 2022 for the ninth time this year. “Africa Day” became “African Encounters”, with even more focus on exchange with filmmakers from the African continent.

We presented the documentary film series “Generation Africa” by the South African non-profit media organisation STEPS: Young filmmakers from the African continent tell stories about migration from their point of view and thus want to shift perspectives about migration.

Four of these films were part of our festival programme: AFRICAN MOOT by Shameela Seedat takes us to a fictional court room: the best law students across Africa gather to negotiate the rights of refugees on the continent. HOME AGAIN by Babucarr Manka is about returnees who are to build up an existence in the Gambia and how they experience the reintergration policies.

Claudine Ndimbira from Rwanda demands all our attention and empathy for traumatised refugees with her short film LEND ME YOUR VOICE. And in NO SIMPLE WAY HOME we accompany Akuol de Mabior after years of exile in her search for home and identity in her country South Sudan. Four different stories about migration. Four stories about the young generation in Africa and their will of building a life with prospects on the ground.

In a panel discussion in collaboration with STEPS, DW Akademie, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and ARTE we came into a direct exchange with the filmmakers. On the one hand, it is about their view of migration: What does the change of perspective mean, especially for the young generation of the African continent? Can documentary film be political and contribute to change in reality? On the other hand, we talked with the producers and broadcasters about new models of film production between Africa and Europe. Barbara Off


African Encounters Films & Timetable

South Africa/Finland 2022, Shameela Seedat, 83 min.

Every year, over a hundred law students from all over Africa come together to take part in the African Moot Competition: this time, the rights of refugees on the continent will be heard in a simulated trial before the African Court of Human Rights. The next generation of the legal elite in Africa shows what it can do.

Fri 06 May, 6pm, Neues Rottmann
Followed by a Q&A with Don Edkins and Tiny Mungwe from STEPS

Panel discussion

Discovering African stories through co-production and financing – Generation Africa shifting the narrative on migration

In the panel discussion in cooperation with STEPS, DW Akademie, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and ARTE, we will enter into a direct exchange with the filmmakers. On the one hand, it is about their view of migration: What does the change of perspective mean, especially for the young generation on the African continent? Can the documentary film be political and contribute to a change in reality? On the other hand, we will talk with producers and broadcasters about new models of film production between Africa and Europe.

Sat 07 May, 10am, Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film / Audimax

Free entry

Rwanda/South Africa 2021, Claudine Ndimbira, 19 min.

Refugee Akili Nadege has experienced terrible things: loss, imprisonment, torture. Women and men lend their voices to tell Akili’s story. The more the narrators take in, the more affected they are – and Akili regains her agency and her dignity. An impressive short film that demands and enacts compassion.

Sat 07. May, 2.30pm, HFF Audimax (first film)
Followed by a Q&A with the director Claudine Ndimbira


The Gambia/South Africa 2022, Babucarr Manka, 40 min.

The journey to Europe has twice ended in failure. Back home in Gambia, 20 year-old Paabi is now set to establish a life for herself with the support of the International Organi- zation for Migration. The conditions are harsh and the expectations of the extended family are high. In the end, Paabi gets back on a bus heading north.

Sat 07. May, 2.30pm, HFF Audimax (second film) 
Followed by a Q&A with the director Babucarr Manka


Kenya/South Africa 2022, Akuol de Mabior, 85 min.

Freedom fighting, exile, the experience of loss and vice presidency – an eventful family history from South Sudan. With her feature film debut, the filmmaker not only draws a strong portrait of her mother but also gives rare insights into the nation building of the youngest state in the world at the highest political level.

Sat 07 May, 7pm, Amerikahaus
Followed by a Q&A with the director Akuol de Mabior and the producer Sam Soko



Don Edkins

Executive Producer STEPS

Don Edkins is a South African documentary filmmaker and producer based in Cape Town. He has produced documentary projects that have been broadcast to audiences around the world, such as Steps for the Future, Why Democracy? and Why Poverty? He is Executive Producer of AfriDocs, a free-to-view VOD platform and broadcast documentary strand across Africa, and of Dare to Dream, a project with Asian filmmakers. He is currently developing a new documentary project with African filmmakers, Generation Africa.

Akuol de Mabior


Akuol de Mabior grew up in Kenya and was born in Cuba. The South Sudanese filmmaker studied film and media production at the University of Capetown. Her short films have screened at numerous film festivals in South Africa and the United States. NO SIMPLE WAY HOME is her documentary feature film debut. Believing that the perspectives of African women are undervalued, she aims to create counter-hegemonic stories for the screen that reach African audiences, facilitate our imaginations and encourage us to think differently about ourselves and our futures.

Babucarr Manka


Babucarr Manka is the creative director of The Gambia’s leading audio-visual company, State Of Mic Multimedia. Since he started filmmaking in 2009, he has produced and directed numerous documentaries, TV shows and commercials. Since 2017, he has developed a keen interest into producing films in his quest to find deeper ways to understand ordinary people and everyday stories. Since 2018, he has joined African filmmakers across the continent to benefit from story development trainings and productions of documentaries facilitated by STEPS, in order to help him gather the necessary skills to share authentic and captivating stories from across the continent.

Tiny Mungwe

Documentary film and arts producer STEPS

Tiny Mungwe is a documentary film and arts producer. She currently works at STEPS 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 have screened at several festivals around the world and her short film script EVELYN was selected for the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) Women Filmmaker Project. For several years she worked as a festival organizer and programmer and continues to work as a programme curation associate for the Durban FilmMart. She also programmed and curated the city of Durban’s inaugural book and art fair, ARTiculate Africa.

Claudine Ndimbira (Shenge)


Ndimbira Claudine (Shenge) is a Rwandan filmmaker who resides in Kigali. She made her first short film as a director in 2013 and since then has done a few other films as a script writer, director and producer. Shenge was part of the International class at Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany. Shenge's films made it into different festivals, among others the Pan African Film Festival, Los Angeles, AFRIKAMERA Film Festival, Berlin, the Vancouver Queer Film Festival in Canada, and Afrika Filmfestival, Leuven. 

Martin Pieper

Commissioning Editor Culture & Science programmes ZDF/ARTE

From 1990-1994, Martin Pieper was responsible for the legal and business affairs of ECA as well as for some selected international co-productions at ZDF Enterprises. In 1994-1996 he was Assistant to the Director for European Joint Venture Programmes and from 1996- 2000 Assistant of the Director for European Satellite Programmes. Since 2000, Martin has been the Commissioning Editor Head of the Department Culture & Science Programmes/ARTE, which supplies programmes for most of the single documentary slots aired on ARTE.

Florian Schewe

Producer Film Five GmbH

Florian Schewe studied directing at the Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf. His documentaries and feature films have been featured at festivals worldwide and won the Grimme Award, among others. In 2017, he founded the Berlin-based FILM FIVE GmbH together with four producers. As a creative producer, he was responsible for the documentaries NO GOLD FOR KALSAKA (IDFA, FESPACO, RIDM) and WHEN A FARM GOES AFLAME (BERLINALE, CPH:DOX, BFI), the Grimme Award nominated BELLA PALANKA and LOVE, D-MARK AND DEATH, which won the Panorama Audience Award at the 72. Berlinale.

Natascha Schwanke

Director of Media Development (DW Akademie)

Natascha Schwanke initially joined DW Akademie as a trainer, consultant and project manager and went on to head the Africa division for three years. She was appointed DW Akademie's Deputy Head and Director of Media Development in March 2019. Schwanke is a journalist and for many years worked on TV and radio programs for various German broadcasters.

Sam Soko


Sam Soko is a film director, producer and editor based in Nairobi who seeks out stories that enable him to engage in socio-political spaces. He is co-founder of LBx Africa, a Kenyan production company that service produced the 2018 Oscar-nominated short fiction film WATU WOTE. Soko's first feature documentary project SOFTIE, premiered at the 2020 Sundance film festival, winning a special jury prize for editing. Soko is currently producing features by first-time African directors in Kenya, South Sudan and Zimbabwe and also co-directing a film following the world’s boldest experiment in universal basic income taking place in Kenya.

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