Two feature-length documentaries from DW Akademie’s Generation Africa project have been selected for this year’s Berlin International Film Festival (February 10 – 20).
The world premieres of Akuol de Mabior’s “No Simple Way Home” (South Sudan) and Ike Nnaebue’s “No U-Turn” (Nigeria) will take place in the Panorama section of the Berlin International Film Festival, where the audience awards for the most popular feature and documentary films will be presented.
“These stories originate from within Africa to shift the narrative on migration and illustrate the power of cinema to deal with vital topics that can resonate with a global audience,” said Don Edkins, executive producer of the South African non-governmental organisation STEPS.
STEPS launched the Generation Africa project with DW Akademie, with support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). BMZ, DW Akademie, and STEPS actively contribute to social change, freedom of expression, and the economic empowerment of local storytellers by supporting filmmakers in emerging film markets.
“No Simple Way Home” is the first South Sudanese film to be screened at the Berlinale. The film’s central topic is first-time director Akuol de Mabior’s mother, Rebecca Nyandeng. Rebecca, the “mother of the nation,” prepares to become the country’s first female vice president, as South Sudan’s fragile peace agreement hangs in the balance. Her goal is to preserve the vision of her late husband, John Garang, a Sudanese revolutionary, national hero, and former first vice president.
With “No U-Turn”, Nollywood filmmaker Ike Nnaebue retraces a journey he took 26 years ago when he left Nigeria as a young man to try to reach Europe by road. He meets others who are making the same journey today to pursue a better life and seeks to comprehend the goals of young people in West Africa through interactions with them.