Charlie Vundla

Biography: Charlie Vundla is a South African Movie Director. He started his career as a soccer reporter. Vundla is a native New Yorker. He moved to Johannesburg as a child, and then returned to America to complete his tertiary education. He directed the award-winning movie How to Steal 2 Million, which was released in 2011.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
How to Steal 2 Million (2012);
Cuckold (2016).

How to Steal 2 Million (2011);
Cuckold (2015).

Ingrid Martens

Biography: While attaining her Masters Degree in Culture and Media Studies, Ingrid Martens documented the beginning of Regional Television in South Africa. During the process she trained with various journalists and found her passion for telling stories in a powerful medium that can impact positively on people’s lives. She was chosen for the International Professional Programme for Journalists at CNN in Atlanta. One of Africa’s most awarded production houses in Kenya, namely Camerapix, then approached her to become the executive producer/bureau chief of its first ever South African office. Martens produced and assisted in the production of news and features in countries such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Guinea, Rwanda, Mozambique, and Angola for clients such as CNN, BBC, SABC and e-TV. She also produced advocacy videos for organisations such as the Planned Parenthood Federation and the United Nations University for Peace.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Africa Shafted: Under One Roof (2012).

Be Amazing (Date unknown);
Love Me for Me (Date unknown);
Africa Shafted: Under One Roof (2011).

Zelalem Woldemariam

Biography: Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Zelalem Woldemariam started his career as a Marketing Professional gathering over 10 years experience in different organizations. In 2006 he wrote, directed and produced a full-length feature film entitled The 11th Hour. In Ethiopia, the film stood out from other Ethiopian films for its high production value. The film also obtained critical acclaim for its compelling story from international audiences as well as film festivals it participated in.

In 2010, Zelalem directed and produced a 14-minute short film entitled Lezare (For Today) which is about the efforts of a community to take action that will have a lasting impact on global warming, but their actions are thwarted by an individual’s instinct for survival. Lezare won several outstanding awards and honors.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
The 11th Hour (2007);
Lezare [For Today] (2012, 2013).

The 11th Hour (2006);
Lezare [For Today] (2009).


Director: Ahmad Abdalla
Country: Egypt
Year: 2010
Running Time: 120 min.
Language: Arabic

Microphone is a sparkling mash-up of shooting styles that tells the story of Khaled, who returns to his native Alexandria after a long stay in the United States and becomes enmeshed in a thriving underground arts scene after he chances upon a cooperative of young musicians. Completed prior to the remarkable social unrest that ultimately ousted President Mubarak, the film is nonetheless highly radical in the context of contemporary Arabic cinema and should not be missed by anyone with even a passing interest in North African affairs.

Monica Wangu Wamwere: The Unbroken Spirit

Director: Jane Murago-Munene
Country: Kenya
Year: 2010
Running Time: 71 min.
Languages: English / Kikuyu


Monica Wangu Wamwere: The Unbroken Spirit explores the search for justice by a mother for her three sons and forty nine other detainees locked up during the clamour for multiparty democracy in Kenya. It is a story of courage, determination and power for the powerless. Above all, it is the story of a mother’s unconditional love.


Also Known As: Aujourd’hui
Director: Alain Gomis
Countries: France / Senegal / USA
Year: 2012
Running Time: 86 min.
Languages: French / Wolof

Today is the last day of Satché’s life. Though he is strong and in good health, he accepts his imminent death as he walks through the streets of Senegal, taking in the sites of his past as if he were looking at them for the last time: his parents’ house, his first love, the friends of his youth, and his wife and children. Acclaimed actor, musician, and poet Saul Williams stars in this stirring, reflective drama. Named one of Film Comment’s Best Unreleased Films of 2012.


Directors: Rémi Bezançon and Jean-Christophe Lie
Countries: Belgium / France
Year: 2012
Running Time: 78 min.
Language: French

An old man gathers his grandchildren to tell them the story of 10-year-old Maki, who is kidnapped by slave traders. He quickly escapes to find himself on an epic journey. Maki is determined to rescue his new friend, the orphaned giraffe Zarafa, from the Bedouin prince who is taking her to France as a gift to the King. Stowing away on the journey, he looks for opportunities to escape with her. Their travels take them to Alexandria, Marseille and Paris. But the slave trader is on the same route and he is still angry about losing Maki and wants him back!

How to Steal 2 Million

Director: Charlie Vundla
Country: South Africa
Year: 2011
Running Time: 85 min.
Languages: English / Zulu

While Jack served 5 years in prison for robbery, his friend and partner Twala never got caught and proved treacherous by marrying Jack’s fiancé Kim during his prison term. After being released, Jack wants to start a construction business but his loan gets rejected. With a third partner, Olive, Twala suggests a home invasion at his father Julius’ home. When the robbery goes wrong the tension builds towards an explosive and surprising finale. The film is a slick and sexy urban tale set in Johannesburg’s opulent leafy suburbs.

Black Africa, White Marble

Director: Clemente Bicocchi
Countries: Italy / USA
Year: 2011
Running Time: 77 min.
Languages: English / French / Italian

In the Republic of Congo, the long-time dictator plans to sweep aside the country’s most revered spiritual leader. The capital Brazzaville is abuzz with rumors of skullduggery. A lavish spectacle, funded by the French multinational TOTAL, is set to betray the population’s ancient traditions and re-write the nation’s history. Defying the regime, one woman comes to King Makoko’s rescue.

Our Beloved Sudan

Director: Taghreed Elsanhouri
Countries: Sudan / UK
Year: 2011
Running Time: 92 min.
Languages: Arabic / English

Our beloved Sudan takes the historical trajectory of a nation from birth in 1956 to its death or transmutation into two separate states in 2011 and within this structure it interlaces a public and a private story. Inviting key political figures to reflexively engage with the historical trajectory of the film while observing an ordinary mixed race family caught across the divides of a big historical moment as they try to make sense of it and live through it.

Farewell Exile

Also Known As: Salam Ghourba
Director: Lamia Alami
Country: Morocco
Year: 2011
Running Time: 15 min.
Language: Arabic

In the midst of an underprivileged Moroccan neighborhood, Fatima, 30, is waiting anxiously to join her husband who migrated to France over a year ago as soon as she received the immigration papers. The absence of the husband, the misery that surrounds her, the lack of job and finances, along with the harmful environment that her naïve son, Mohammed, 10, is immersed in gives her very little hope. Will the husband’s letter potentially secure a brighter future for her and her son Mohammed or will she have to make a crucial sacrifice?

Africa Shafted: Under One Roof

Director: Ingrid Martens
Country: South Africa
Year: 2011
Running Time: 55 min.
Language: English

Filmed in Africa’s tallest residential building located downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, that housed more than 4,000 people, this is a serious, poignant, humorous, and uplifting universal documentary. It gives you an honest glimpse at the tragic reality of xenophobia through the eyes of people from every corner of Africa living under one roof. It also conveys a powerful message that through dialogue and understanding, respect starts to take root.

Ishaya Bako

Biography: Ishaya Bako (born 30 December 1986) is a Nigerian film director and screenwriter. He was born in Kaduna, where he lived all his life and later moved to London, where he studied at the London Film School. After attending the London Film School, Bako went on to script and direct the African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA)-winning Braids on a Bald Head. He won the Best Short Film Awards at the 8th African Movie Academy Awards. He is an emerging voice of his generation and a member of a select few Global Shapers, a collection of enterprising youths initiated by the World Economic Forum. His film Fuelling Poverty (2012), a documentary on poverty and fuel subsidy in Nigeria, is narrated by Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka. Ishaya Bako lives in Abuja, Nigeria.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Fuelling Poverty (2013).

Left (2008);
Blue Baby Elephants (2009);
Braids on a Bald Head (2010);
Fuelling Poverty (2012);
Dream, Poetic (2013);
Easy Money (2013);
Enitan (2013);
Nemesis (2013);
Not Do or Die (2013).

Frances Bodomo

Also Known As: Nuotama Frances Bodomo

Biography: Nuotama Frances Bodomo is a Ghanaian filmmaker based in New York City. She grew up on four continents—in Ghana, Norway, California, and Hong Kong—before moving to New York to attend Columbia University as a Kluge Scholar. She received her B.A. in English Literature and Film Studies in 2010. Her thesis focused on making African-generated images part of the popular image of Africa. Her work features doppelgangers, imaginary friends, ventriloquist dummies, and the un-institutionalized crazies who constantly break society’s view of itself. Her ultimate goal is to make conceptually strong films that bring African images to the forefront. She is currently an MFA Candidate and Dean’s Fellow at NYU’s Graduate Film Program.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Boneshaker (2013);
Afronauts (2014).

Our Secret (2011);
Boneshaker (2012);
Afronauts (2014).

Hugo Berkeley and Osvalde Lewat-Hallade

Biography: Hugo Berkeley is a half-British, half-American film director based in London. His directing credits include: Land Rush, a film for the Why Poverty? series about industrial vs. small-scale farming in Africa; The Market Maker for PBS/WNET about agricultural development in Ethiopia; and A Normal Life, winner of the Tribeca Best Documentary award, about a group of young friends in post-war Kosovo. He co-produced the theatrical documentary Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love. Hugo Berkeley also works as a producer, director, and editor of television documentaries for channels including CNN, MTV, VH1, and Bravo. Passionate about harnessing media for social change, his work has been supported by Ford, MacArthur and Rockefeller Brothers Foundations and he has been recognized with a UN appointment.

Biography: Osvalde Lewat- Hallade is an award-winning filmmaker who began making documentaries after several years as a journalist. She produced her first documentary, Upsa Yimoowin (The Pipe of Hope) in Toronto in 2000. That film denounces the sidelining of Native Americans. With Au-delà de la peine, Lewat tells the story of a prisoner who, after being sentenced to four years in jail for a minor offense, is imprisoned for thirty-three years. In her 2009 film, Black Business, Lewat addresses the question posed by Nigerian Nobel Laureate author Wole Soyinka: “They say Africans are not ready for democracy. So I wonder: have they ever been ready for dictatorship?” Lewat studied at Sciences Po in Paris.

– AFF, Inc.
Through African Eyes – Conversations with the Directors – Volume 2, BONETTI Mahen and SEAG Morgan (Editors), 2010, African Film Festival, Inc. and Printinfo JV LLC, Yerevan, Armenia, p.120)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
The Forgotten Man [Au-delà de la peine] (2007 – Osvalde Lewat);
A Love during the War (2007);
Black Business [Une affaire de nègres] (2008 – Osvalde Lewat);
Sderot, Last Exit (2012 – Osvalde Lewat);
Land Rush (2013).

Upsa Yimoowin [The Pipe of Hope] (2000 – Osvalde Lewat);
Itilga [The Destinies] (2001 – Osvalde Lewat, Cyrille Masso);
140, rue du Bac (2001 – Osvalde Lewat);
The Forgotten Man [Au-delà de la peine] (2003 – Osvalde Lewat);
A Normal Life (2003 – Hugo Berkeley, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi);
A Love during the War (2005 – Osvalde Lewat);
Les Disparus de Douala (2006 – Osvalde Lewat);
Black Business [Une affaire de nègres] (2007 – Osvalde Lewat);
Wide Angle – The Market Maker (2009 – Hugo Berkeley);
Sderot, Last Exit (2011 – Osvalde Lewat);
Land Rush (2012).

The First Grader

Director: Justin Chadwick
Countries: Kenya / UK / USA
Year: 2010
Running Time: 103 min.
Language: English

Set in a mountain village in Kenya, the film tells the remarkable true and uplifting story of a proud old Mau Mau veteran who is determined to seize his last chance to learn to read and write – and so ends up joining a class alongside six year-olds. Together he and his young teacher face fierce resistance, but ultimately they win through – and also find a new way of overcoming the burdens of the colonial past.

Judy Kibinge

Biography: Judy Kibinge is a Kenyan writer and filmmaker. After creating numerous commercials during her eight years in advertising (three as creative director of Pan-African brands such as Coca-Cola North Africa Division, Unilever, and Kenya Breweries), she decided to pursue filmmaking. Her award-winning films include Dangerous Affair (2002), winner of the ZIFF Best East African Production Award, Bless This Land (2005), winner of the Kenya International Film Festival Best Documentary Award, Coming of Age (2007) and Killer Necklace (2009). She owns Seven, an independent production house in Nairobi, Kenya, founded in 2006.

(Source: Through African Eyes – Conversations with the Directors – Volume 2, BONETTI Mahen and SEAG Morgan (Editors), 2010, African Film Festival, Inc. and Printinfo JV LLC, Yerevan, Armenia, p.140)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Coming of Age (2009);
Killer Necklace (2009);
Something Necessary (2014).

The Aftermath (2002);
Dangerous Affair (2002);
Project Daddy (2004);
Bless This Land (2005);
A Voice in the Dark (The Story of a Whistleblower) (2005);
Coming of Age (2007);
Peace Wanted Alive (2009);
Killer Necklace (2009);
Something Necessary (2013).

Viva Frelimo!

Directors: Leonid Maksimov / Yuri Yegorov
Country: USSR
Year: 1971
Running Time: 13 min.


A document of the struggle of the people of Mozambique for independence and the history and activities of the organization Frelimo: Front for the Liberation of Mozambique. From the collection of Russian State Documentary Film and Photo Archive in Krasnogorsk City.

Yuri Yegorov

Biography: Russian director Yuri Yegorov graduated from Moscow’s V.G.I.K. in 1944 after studying film direction under Sergei Gerasimov. While in school, Yegorov worked as both an assistant director and actor for Gerasimov on Molodaya Gvardiya (The Young Guard). Several years after graduating, Yegorov began working with the Central Studio of Films for Children and Youth (now the Gorky Film Studio) in Moscow; after five years, he was made head of the First Group. From 1954 through the end of his career, Yegorov lectured at V.G.I.K.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Viva Frelimo! (2013 – Leonid Maksimov, Yuri Yegorov).

Sluchay v tayge (1953);
More Studyonoye (1955);
Oni byli pervymi (1956);
Dobrovoltsy (1958);
Vragi (1960);
Prostaya istoriya (1960);
Komandirovka (1961);
Esli ty prav… (1963);
Ne samyy udachnyy den (1968);
Viva Frelimo! (1971 – Leonid Maksimov, Yuri Yegorov);
Chelovek s drugoy storony (1972);
Za oblakami – nebo (1973);
Tam, za gorizontom (1975);
Veter stranstviy (1978);
Odnazhdy dvadtsat let spustya (1982);
Ottsy i dedy (1984).

Leonid Maksimov

Biography: Leonid Maksimov was a writer and playwright. He was called by some a Dostoevsky of the 20th century and was also called “the hero of Soviet work“, winning much recognition. He came from a family of merchants. Maksimov wrote several realistic novels in the Dostoevskian tradition, with intricate plots and characters which he continually revised, that explored life and twilight zones of human nature and social issues such as conflict between villages and towns. Among his most important novels are Badgers (1924), Thief (1927) and Pyramid (1994). He also wrote dramas of vibrant tension, showing the heroism of the ordinary man.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Viva Frelimo! (2013- Leonid Maksimov, Yuri Yegorov).

Viva Frelimo! (1971 – Leonid Maksimov, Yuri Yegorov).