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Docs To Watch: 4 Untold Stories From Across Africa

Monday 14 September, 2020

Fighting desertification with technology in Senegal. Challenging destiny in Morocco. Coping with child loss in Kenya. Reflecting on migration in Ethiopia. 

Short docs can offer a unique window into the lived experiences of people all over the world.

When produced with the winning combination of integrity, creativity and originality, a 15-minute film has the power to connect people from across continents, cultures and beliefs. To break down stereotypes and change the narrative.

So it is crucial to champion stories that reflect the rich and diverse world around us. To ensure we provide a platform for new talent to shine a light on the untold stories.

As a collaboration between DocHouse and One World Media, the short doc screening later this month will showcase four talented female filmmakers, each sharing underreported stories of women from across Africa. 

The films have been curated from the One World Media Fellowship programme which supports emerging talent from around the world to produce engaging and creative media in developing countries.

As we countdown the days to the screening and a chance to hear from the filmmakers, we are spotlighting each of the stories that will feature in the screening. Stories that shine a light on voices rarely heard.

Book your free tickets to the screening here.


The Energy to Stay

Directed by Carlotta Dotto

In North-Eastern Senegal women are often left alone, with husbands, children, and brothers having migrated to other countries, struggling to face the land’s increasing desertification and food insecurity. Five years ago, a group of women from five rural villages along the Senegal River Valley, supported by the NGO Green Cross and the Italian Agency for Cooperation, joined forces to develop solar-powered water-pumping systems that save 70% of the water.

Since then, each year they have been able to produce enough food to feed over 900 people in the nearby villages and to retrain desertified lands, as well as improving the live conditions and creating job opportunities, thereby generating an alternative to migration.

Director, Carlotta Dotto is a data journalist at First Draft, and has previously worked on data-led investigations and multimedia interactive projects for The Times, The Guardian, La Repubblica and the BBC, covering issues surrounding migration, climate change and social justice. She is interested in using digital tools to carry out in-depth investigations and keep exploring new narrative formats.


Utapata Mwingine (You Will Get Another One)

Directed by Lydia Matata

Utapata Mwingine (You Will Get Another One) is a documentary about the impact of stigma and silence surrounding Pregnancy and Infant Child Loss (PAIL) in Kenya. The film follows the founder of Empower Mama, Vivian Gaiko, a young Kenyan woman who lost her two-week old daughter after a sudden illness in 2016. Vivian set up Empower Mama, an organisation that supports bereaved parents struggling with complicated grief, through support groups, home visits, mountain climbing and bringing together grieving parents to openly acknowledge their loss.

Director, Lydia Matata is a Kenyan filmmaker and independent journalist. She is currently directing her first feature documentary, Better Sundays, selected for a grant and mentorship program by Docubox. Lydia is a 2018 Hot Docs Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund fellow and grant recipient.



Directed by Erica Beebe

Radia, a Moroccan shepherd and farmer whose childhood circumstances prevented her from accessing an education, demonstrates how girls and women are prescribed their fates at a young age. Radia reflects on the idea of agency and how invention, determination and achievement exist independently of anyone’s permission.

Director, Erica Beebe is a first time director from Minneapolis, MN. She recently earned an MA in documentary film directing from the University of Edinburgh. She currently works as a digital producer and freelance director in Minneapolis.


Wax + Gold

Directed by Hazel Falck

Created in collaboration with six locally-founded organisations in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, this film combines some of the ambitions, hopes and concerns of women deciding whether to migrate, with the reflections, challenges and advice from those who have migrated and returned home to Ethiopia. The film is part of a series of longer interviews, facilitating conversation and reflection around the complexities of migrating for work.

Director, Hazel Falck is an emerging filmmaker based in London. She worked as a Producer in the UK, US and east Africa before focusing on independent documentary projects. She is a Research and Practise Fellow at the Centre of Film and Ethics, Queen Mary University London.