Africa Day 2019

East Africa – A Region in Transition: Where Does the Journey Lead?


East Africa – a place where many long to travel: Thousand and one nights in Zanzibar and safari in the footsteps of Bernhard
Grzimek in the Serengeti. But what characterizes the modern East Africa beyond exotic colonial romanticism?

The cultural region of East Africa has been lastingly influenced by the Arab as well as by European colonial history. In the interplay of Islam and Christianity, religious orientation is gaining in importance. In terms of security policy, the countries on the Indian Ocean play a crucial role for the stability for the entire region. At the same time, they form an important pan-African link between Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa.

Three films from and about East Africa take us on a voyage of discovery: In TANZANIA TRANSIT we take the train through the wide landscape of Tanzania. On the way Jeroen Van Velzen discusses the role of women, religion and ethnicity. In NEW MOON we accompany the Kenyan filmmaker Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann on her quest for spiritual identity between modern lifestyle and Muslim faith. And with TALKING ABOUT TREES by Suhaib Gasmelbari we set off for northeastern Africa. We dive into Sudanese film history and experience how politics and religion influence film and life culture.

Following the films, we will discuss with the filmmakers and experts: What connects the countries of Eastern Africa - Tanzania, Kenya and Sudan? What role does religion play? Is the emerging film scene in Nairobi just becoming a new economic force in the centre of East Africa? How important is documentary film in this context?

The event will be held in English.

Panel discussion participants:

Jeroen Van Velzen (director of TANZANIA TRANSIT, Netherlands),
Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann (director of NEW MOON, Kenya),
Peter Mudamba (programme director, East African Documentary Film Fund DOCUBOX, Kenya),
Murad Abu-Eisheh (coordinator Pan-African Film Projects Robert Bosch Foundation, Germany),
Moderation: Barbara Off (Head of Africa)

12th May 2019, 2:00 - 09:30 pm
Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film, Kino 1

2:00 - 3:30 pm
Film: TANZANIA TRANSIT (NL 2018, Jeroen van Velzen, 75 min.) in the presence of director Jeroen van Velzen

4:00 - 5:30 pm
Film: NEW MOON (KE 2018, Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann 71 min.) in the presence of director Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann and
programme director Peter Mudamba East African Documentary Film Fund DOCUBOX

6:00 - 7:00 pm
Reception in the Festivallounge

7:00 - 8:30 pm
Film: TALKING ABOUT TREES (SD 2019, Suhaib Gusmelbari, 93 min.)

8:30 - 9:30 pm
Discussion: EAST AFRICA – a region in transition: where does the journey lead?


  • Sunday
  • 20:30
  • HFF - Kino 1