The curators of the Retrospective 2023 Africa

Renowned curators from West, East and South Africa, with some of whom DOK.fest has a longstanding friendship, have agreed to select six films from the last decades for this year's retrospective.

In the entertaining video statements, the curators explain why they chose which film:

The curators one by one

Claire Diao
is a French-Burkinabè film critic and distributor. She founded the short film program Quartiers Lointains in 2013, co-founded the Pan-African film critic magazine AWOTELE in 2015, and has been the CEO of the Pan-African film distribution company Sudu Connexion since 2016. In 2018, Diao received the Beaumarchais Medal from the French Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers for her essay "Double Vague, le nouveau souffle du cinéma français" (Au Diable Vauvert, ed. 2017). As a TV host, she worked for Canal + International and France O and as a columist, for Canal+ and TV5 Monde. Claire Diao is a member of the African Film Critic Federation, the Burkinabè Film Critic organization and collaborate with the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival and Durban Talents in South Africa. She was in the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight official selection committee (2018-2022), the FESPACO selection committee in 2022 and joined the Lincoln Center's Programming Team in 2023.
Additionally Claire Diao
is the author of this year's essay "I myself am the sun".
She also was a part of the African Encounters panel discussion on 6 May at the HFF Munich on the topic "Honouring the past to inspire the future".


Judy Kibinge
is a renowned filmmaker and former Creative Director at McCann Erickson. Her films have contributed to a contemporary wave of Kenyan cinema, including romantic comedies like Dangerous Affair and Project Daddy, and socially conscious films like Killer Necklace and Something Necessary. IN 2013, she founded DOCUBOX, the first homegrown fund for independent filmmakers in Sub-Saharan Africa, which supports documentaries and short fiction films through screenings, grants, and labs. Judy Kibinge is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures & Sciences and sits on the Documentary Branch Executive Committee. She was voted Most Influential Woman in Film at the Kenyan Women in Film Awards in 2021 and has received a Head of State commendation for her contribution to the film industry. Judy Kibinge works together with Mudamba Mudamba at the DOCUBOX Film Fund in Nairobi, Kenya.

Mudamba Mudamba
started off as stage actor, director, producer and administrator theatre and later transitioned to film administration. He is a trained accountant who left accounting to follow his passion for theatre & film. He is a former Treasurer of Kenya Film & Television Professionals Association and currently is a member of Creative Economy Working Group CEWG & The East African Screen Collective. He has been involved as Executive Producer on several ofinished DOCUBOX documenties such as THE LETTER, NEW MOON and I AM SAMUEL. Through DOCUBOX, Mudamba hopes to be part of the transformative growth of the East African Film Industry and the setting up of a Strong Post Production and  Film Distribution infrastructure to assure the industry of sustainability. Mudamba Mudamba directs together with Judy Kibinge the DOCUBOX Film Fonds in Nairobi, Kenia.

Mohamed Said Ouma
is an experienced filmmaker, an avid cultural operator and a seasoned festival manager who currently serves as the Executive Director of Documentary Africa. He has cut his professional teeth as a festival manager for the International Film Festival of Africa and the Islands (FIFAI) from 2004 to 2015 where he managed to coordinate support for the festival from the Municipality of Le Port- Reunion Islands and the national film governing body (CNC). He is among others known for his film RED CARD.

Alex Moussa Sawadogo 
studied art history in Ouagadougou and culture and media management in Hamburg, specialising in dance and film. Worked in numerous cultural institutions in Burkina Faso. After moving to Berlin in 2005, he worked as a press and cultural officer for the Embassy of Burkina Faso in Berlin. He conceived and curated the dance festivals "Border Border Express" (2011), "Moussokouma" (2013) and "Sleepless Nights" (2016) at the HAU Hebbel am Ufer theatre in Berlin. In 2012-2015 Sawadogo was artistic advisor for the "Open Doors" programme at the Festival del Film Locarno. In 2014, he conceived the symposium "Africa Archive - Africa Future" with ITI Germany for the festival "Theater der Welt" in Mannheim. Sawadogo has been artistic director of the AFRIKAMERA film festival in Berlin since 2007 and of the Ouaga Film Lab in Burkina Faso since 2016. He is also the fund manager of the Jeune Création Francophone fund, founded in early 2018. In 2021, he took over the artistic direction of FESAPCO, Festival panafricain du cinéma et de la télévision de Ouagadougou.

Mandisa Zitha
completed her BA in Film and Media Studies, majoring in Documentary. She is an ambassador for the SA film industry, was one of the Mail and Guardian’s 2011 Top 100 Women for the Arts and Culture Sector and spoke at various international Documentary Film Festivals (e.g. IDFA, Thessaloniki). In 2020 she received the 2020 Mbokodo Award for “Women in Media”. In her current role as festival director, Zitha is building worldwide partnerships for the Encounters festival and is committed to the development of emerging talent in the documentary industry. Additionally Mandisa Zitha was a panellist at the African Encounters panel discussion on 6 May at the HFF Munich on the topic "Honouring the past to inspire the future".