Land Rush

Directors: Hugo Berkeley and Osvalde Lewat
Countries: Cameroon / Mali / UK / USA
Year: 2012
Running Time: 58 min.
Languages: Bambara / English / French

For 20 years, the hunger crisis seemed to be under control. But by 2008, prices had increased, and the African continent had become a playground for foreign investors. This investigative documentary focuses on Sosumar, a huge project that has the Malian government collaborating with a large group of foreign investors.

About the Director

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).