Africa Media Centre


Documenting Africa: Creating Fact or Fiction through the Lens

Date: 8 November 2014
Time: 9.00am - 5.00pm
Location: 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS - View map
Marylebone Campus external

This two day conference on 8 and 9 November will feature notable Keynote speakers Pedro Pimenta from Mozambique and Khalo Matabane from South Africa, and will include film screenings.

Other speakers include:

Agnieszka Piotrowska: Filmmaker and Reader at the University of Bedfordshire, premiering her new short film ‘Flora and Dambudzo’.

June Givanni: Programmer, Curator, writer and cultural activist introducing her recently launched Pan African Film Archive, in conversation with Keith Shiri.

Academics and practitioners from countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Canada, Brazil, Sweden, Germany, Ghana, Austria, America, Congo, Ethiopia, Sudan and the UK, will be presenting papers.

Keynote speaker: Pedro Pimenta

Pedro has become one of the major players in film co-production in Southern Africa. He started his film career with the National Film Institute of Mozambique in 1977, and co-founded EBANO Multimedia, the first independent production company in Mozambique, which established itself as a significant entity in audio-visual production in the region. He is the founder and director of Dockanema, a key documentary film festival in Mozambique.

Since then, he has produced, co-produced and line produced numerous short fiction, documentaries and feature films in Mozambique as well as in Angola, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and South Africa. Amongst them are “Marracuene, two banks of a river”, “The tree of our forefathers”, “Fools”, Africa Dreaming”, “A Tempestade da Terra”, “Zulu Love Letter”, “Teza”, “Memories of Dreams”, “Island of the Spirits” and “Virgin Margarida” . Between 1997 and 2003, Pedro was the Chief Technical Adviser of the UNESCO- Zimbabwe Film & Video Training Project for Southern Africa in Harare, where he conceived and managed various training programs in countries of the sub-region. His recent award winning film ‘Virgem Margarida’ will be screened Sunday 9 November followed by a Q & A with Pedro.

Keynote speaker: Khalo Matabane

South African born Khalo Matabane has directed numerous documentaries, drama series, campaigns, commercials, taught about cinema and politics at schools and completed his first dramatic feature film ‘State of Violence’ in 2010 and was shown to critical acclaim in Toronto and Berlin. Set in Johannesburg, it is the story of a man who wife gets killed in what seems like a random act of violence. He goes on a journey searching for the killers only to find out that he is the son of a man he killed in the 1980’s during the struggle in the township. His latest film ‘Nelson Mandela: The Myth & Me’ seeks to find out if Mandela’s philosophies of forgiveness, reconciliation and freedom resonate currently in a world that is plagued with injustice and social inequalities.

Papers focus on topics including:

  • Documentary, docu-drama and narratives based on fact
  • The role of funders in telling the story, ie NGOs, Governments or Religious organisations
  • Community group ‘ground up’ Documentary making
  • Heritage and the Arts in documentaries (Music, Art and Performance)
  • The role of memory and personal histories in Documentary
  • Censorship and restrictions
  • Exhibition and Distribution: Film Festivals, the Internet, Education, Television and DVD
  • Documentary as a means of delivering a health message
  • Audiences
  • Ethnographic films and Colonial legacies
  • Film and television archives

Programme and registration

The fee for registration (which applies to all participants, including presenters) will be £150, with a concessionary rate of £75 for students, to cover all conference documentation, refreshments, lunches and administration costs.

Please download the registration form and submit to

Download the draft programme.