The first two short documentaries in Al Jazeera English’s Africa Direct series have received over 135,000 views only one week after airing. The documentaries are part of a new series by African filmmakers telling African stories.
On the White Nile, a documentary by South Sudanese director Akuol de Mabior, brings viewers into the world of Rebecca Lith Chol, a fishing boat captain. In addition, the documentary has provided viewers with a tale about Sudanese women’s empowerment. The other film, The Bookmaker, directed by Girum Berehanetsehay, is a documentary on Ethiopia’s historic craft of bookmaking.
Another documentary from the Ivory Coast has been added to the series by Africa Direct. The documentary takes us on a journey with Konate Massioudou, a businessman who has developed a thriving electronic waste scrapyard business in Anoumabo, Abidjan, featured in Jol Akafou’s film Scrapyard Anoumabo. Massioudou restores, rebuilds, and sells tens of thousands of abandoned home objects dumped daily in Europe. The film by Akafou transports us into Konate’s life. He fixes stoves, hustles for customers, negotiates deals, and converses with his assistant, all in sign language.
Al Jazeera worked with Big World Cinema for this series, with Executive Producer Steven Markovitz (SA), Series Producers Angèle Diabang (Senegal), and Brian Tilley (SA) on the team.
Ingrid Falck, head of documentaries at Al Jazeera English, commenting to the programme said, “we have had enormously warm and positive responses from our worldwide audience to these short documentaries, which showcase true African experiences, crafted by exceptional African filmmaking talent,” It’s great to hear that people appreciate these multi-dimensional insights into a variety of African experiences that go beyond the standard coverage of the continent.”