STEPS presents the first two feature films in their latest collection, Generation Africa, to African audiences at the Encounters South African International Documentary Festival in June and at the Durban International Film Festival in July. STEPS is a Cape Town-based media company that works with documentary filmmakers, broadcasters, festivals, organisations and individuals who are passionate about documentary as a catalyst for social change. STEPS has produced similar film projects including Steps for the Future, Why Democracy? and Why Poverty? with critical acclaim.
Generation Africa is the latest collection being produced by STEPS with 25 films in co-production with 16 countries across Africa. Generation Africa brings together a collection of stories reflecting the lived experiences of Africa’s youth through the topic of migration. As migration continues to be a contentious political issue globally, the voices of Africans have been missing in the stories being told about the topic and this project responds by supporting African filmmakers to tell stories from an insider perspective,” explains Tiny Mungwe, producer Generation Africa, at STEPS.
The Generation Africa project also helped to strengthen documentary filmmaking in Africa by building communities across the continent and / by bringing filmmakers from Francophone and Anglophone countries together. The project provided each of the filmmakers professional support from experienced documentary film experts for story development, dramaturgy in production as well as the edit in post-production. The first two films completed in the collection will be screened at Encounters and DIFF – two key African festivals.
Set in the Mailian town of Gao, on the edge of the Saraha desert, The Last Shelter (Le Denier Refuge) takes us into the House of Migrants, a resting place for migrants returning from the Sahara having failed to make the crossing of the Mediteranean Sea as well as those hopeful migrants still planning the crossing. In the house of migrants young people wait, share stories of the perils of the deserts and reflect on what migration means to them.
The Last Shelter is directed by Malian director Ousmane Samassekou and produced by STEPS together with Malian production company DS Productions as well as French production company, Point du Jour – Les Films du balibari. The film took the main prize at the recent edition of CPH:DOX in Copenhagen and played at other notable international festivals including Hotdocs, DOK.fest Munich and Hotdocs .
Zinder is set in hometown of Nigerien filmmaker Aicha Macky, where she enters the hypermasculine world of gangs in Karakara district, historically a leprosy colony where the marginalized of her community now cling on to survival. With questions about the failures of state and the results of inequality in her society. The film is co-produced with Macky’s company Tabous Productions as well as Point du Jour – Les Films du balibari.
The Generation Africa films are produced for STEPS pan-African documentary platform AfriDocs, which curates creative documentary films for African audiences available anytime, anywhere on the afridocs.net site as well as through partnerships with broadcasters across Africa. Generation Africa is presented with support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and Deustche Welle Akademie, Robert Bosch Foundation, Bertha Foundation and Arte.
Bookings for Encounters (10-20 July) is now open on: https://www.encounters.co.za
DIFF (22 July – 1 August): Bookings will open at a later stage: https://ccadiff.ukzn.ac.za