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Culture x Change # Mini Fespaco de Vienne 2021

Film Festival with Talks and Discussions
Culture X Change # Mini Fespaco

May 27 to May 30, 2021

In close cooperation with the largest African film festival FESPACO in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and the Mini Fespaco de Vienne, Okto TV, Radio Orange and the festival This Human World, current African film productions will be shown exclusively and exemplarily.

Culture X Change relies on the power of images even in these challenging times! Due to the still precarious health situation, this edition will flicker across the screens online. In close cooperation with the largest African film festival FESPACO in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and the Mini Fespaco de Vienne as well as the festival This Human World, selected current African film productions will be shown from May 27 to 30. 

All films can be seen on This Human World. Free registration at the human rights film hub to watch our films for free.

The focus is on the Sahel region, which, in addition to the acute threat of the Corona virus, is directly affected by climatic change and the associated desertification. Furthermore, social tensions are intensifying, not least because of the lack of prospects for the predominantly young population. Water on the troubles are radical terror groups, which in countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria try to establish their tyranny by all means. 

The feature films and documentaries in the program deal with the problems of the region outlined above. The Mini Fespaco de Vienne 2021 offers a unique opportunity to get closer to Africa, its people and their everyday problems. 

The film program will be complemented by film discussions with the filmmakers. Immediately after the opening film It Must Make Peace by and with director Paul Chandler, there will be a live online discussion focusing on the role of art and music in Mali and the Sahel region.


Irène Hochauer-Kpoda, event manager at VIDC, has been organizing Mini Fespaco in Vienna since 2017. In cooperation with kulturen in bewegung, the film focus is now in its third year. The Culture X Change series, organized by kulturen in bewegung, aims to draw attention to artistic creation in regions far removed from the public eye, to pick up on existing connections, and to initiate new contacts.

May 27, 2021 6.30 - 9.30 pm

Opening film "It Must Make Peace" by Paul Chandler
and subsequent film talk "Desert Blues. Cultural Activism in the Sahel"

Opening film:   IT MUST MAKE PEACE
Documentation, Paul Chandler I Brian David Melnyk,   Mali 2017 I 83’,  OF: Bambara, franz., Peul,
UT/subtitles: English
Austrian Premiere

Subsequent 8 - 9.30 pm
Talk via Zoom "Desert Blues: Cultural Activism in the Sahel"
Panel and Registration

It Must Make Peace spans 3 years of filming in remote and often insecure locations all across Mali, West Africa, documenting performances and interviews with people who could be amongst the last to play their unique instruments or perform their traditional cultural arts. 
The film captures their profound passion for their traditions and the important role these play in bringing diverse peoples together, while they strive for unity and peace amidst a backdrop of increasing economic and political insecurity, religious extremism and globalization.  


May 28, 2021, 6.30 - 7.35 pm

Burkina Faso / France, 2019, R.: Chloé Aïcha Boro, 65 Min., Mooré OF, engl. UT

In the heart of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, there is a granite quarry. Almost 2,500 people, adults and children, toil there under the toughest conditions. In the “hole”, as they call their workplace, they live on the edge of a society that refuses to notice people.
But in 2014 the people took to the streets and expelled long-time President Blaise Compaoré. Hopes for democratic changes and better living conditions are growing. The people in the quarry are also taking courage and no longer want to accept their exploitative employers. They organize themselves and set up their own sales department that promises more income. Solidarity instead of greed is the hopeful motto.


May 28, 2021, 8.30 - 10.17 pm

Movie, FRA, Senegal, B, DEU, Libanon 2017, Alain Gomis, 123min, OF, german Subtitels, Price FESPACO 2017

Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans, goes the old saying – though for the variously stymied characters of Félicité, life hits them when they have no plan at all. A loose, vibrant fourth feature film from Franco-Senegalese director Alain Gomis, FÉLICITÉ likewise builds to a fever of energy and activity while never sketching out more than the bones of a narrative: it’s a film in which a hard-earned smile, the contact between one person’s skin and another’s, or a serene strain of music amid the everyday noise can qualify as a dramatic event. Following a proudly independent club singer through the ragged streets of Kinshasa as she seeks a way to save her hospitalized son, Gomis’ latest is far from the miserablist issue drama that synopsis portends, instead weaving a sensual, sometimes hopeful, sometimes disturbing urban tapestry with threads of image, sound, poetry, and song. (Guy Lodge)


May 29, 2021, 6.30 - 8.06 pm

Movie, Burkina Faso, 2019 R.: Apolline Traoré, 96 min, OF, engl. Subtitles

Subsequent Talk with Apolline Traoré

After the brutal massacre of his family in Haiti, Francis Desrances settles in Ivory Coast. Years later, Francis, his wife Aissey, and their 12-year-old daughter Haila await the birth of a son who, to Francis' excitement and Haila's annoyance, is immediately considered a worthy heir to the Desrances name. As the birth is imminent, civil war breaks out in Abidjan and Aissey is missing in close combat. Haila bravely steps forward in a way that challenges her father's idea of ​​what constitutes a rightful heir. Apolline Traoré's domestic drama, cementing her status as a bold voice in contemporary filmmaking, escalates into an intense thriller that passionately challenges passionate gender roles while highlighting the human cost of civil war.


May 29, 2021, 8.30 - 10.02 pm

Documentary, R: Eléonore Yaméogo, France/Burkina Faso, 2018, 92 min, OT french, Subtitles engl. Austrian Premiere

The documentary by Burkinabe director Eléonore Yaméogo was shown for the first time at Fespaco 2019. It is about former missionaries, the "white fathers" in Africa and their roles in the colonization of Africa.
In the closed world of a retirement home in France, they chat about the everyday life of former missionaries. They proselytized in West Africa before independence.
Their home is a place of silence that is ironically called "the elephant cemetery" by the residents. About 30 residents live there, including Father François de Gaulle, a nephew of General Charles de Gaulle, one of the leading politicians in France after World War II.
In the documentary, these white fathers tell about their lives in Africa, talk about their mission and their place in the history of colonization.
It is the last elephants to reveal their memories here.


May 30, 2021, 6.30 - 8 pm

Film, R: Joel Karekezi, Ruanda, Belgium, France, Germany, 91min, 2019, OT franz.
„Etalon de Yennenga“ – First Price of FESPACO 2019 for best movie

Followed by a talk with Joel Karekezi

During the Second Congo War, two Rwandan soldiers are abandoned in the jungle. The experienced officer and the young infantryman fight for survival and against malaria - and form an unexpected friendship that allows them to confide their most traumatic experiences. The second work of the young Rwandan director Karekezi, whose father died in the 1994 genocide.Film about a war with an antimilitarist aim, The Mercy of the Jungle shows the open wounds left by the fights and questions the place of humanity in armed conflicts.

May 30, 2021, 8.30 - 10 pm

Documentary, R: Olivier Zuchuat, Switzerland / France, 2020, 93 Min, engl. subtitels

The village of Kamsé in Burkina Faso is being decimated by the effects of desertification.
In order to survive, the villagers begin with the greening of the parched landscape. With shovels and pickaxes they fight back to cede their land to the desert. They build dikes, plant hedges and trees.
Director Olivier Zuchuat proves to be a patient observer and creates a poetic and contemplative story with still images that make the parched landscape tangible.