Open City Documentary Festival

24th–30th
April 2024
across London
Event has passed

Makongo + Intro

[1] Director Elvis Sabin Ngaïbino, 2020, [3] Country Argentina, Central African Republic, Italy, [4] Duration 73, [7] Awards Festival du Réel 2020 Paris - France Prix SCAM and Bibliothèque, Hamburg Festival 2020,

Elvis Sabin’s assured debut follows Albert and André, two Central African Aka Pygmies, as they attempt to establish a new education system in their forest community. The last in their village still attending school, they are determined to pass their knowledge on, holding classes for other Aka children every afternoon. But their project requires funding and they are counting on the year’s caterpillar (known as “Makongo”) harvest to provide much needed income. Evocatively capturing the visual and sonic textures of the forest, Makongo is a layered ethnographic study of two men working to build a sustainable future for their community.

UK Premiere

In partnership with Film Africa.

Read an essay on Makongo by Tega Okiti.

Available: Block 2 (Sat 12th Sept midday – Tue 15th Sept midnight BST)

Please note: this film is only available to view in the UK.

Nominated for the Emerging Filmmaker Award Elvis Sabin Ngaïbino, a geology graduate, had always dreamt of working in cinema. In 2012, he co-founded the Académie du Cinéma Centrafricain. With limited means, he produced and made small films for Central African television, until the day his path crossed that of the Ateliers Varan, which trained him in documentary filmmaking and enabled him to shoot Docta Jefferson, the portrait of a neighbourhood pharmacist that successfully screened at several international festivals.