“She is every woman”





THE
PROPHETESS






︎

Synopsis


A story of overcoming struggle through gumption and sisterhood in the eastern DR Congo.
Furaha and Venantie have survived traumas we could never imagine, yet in each other they find strength. This strength, so great, empowers their entire female community to set out for a different future.
Upcoming screenings:
2019/09/15 Lebanese Independent Film Festival
2019/09/21 Maysles Cinema Harlem/NYC
2019/09/22 Seoul International Film Festival
2019/10/08 Oaxaca Filmfest
2019/10/05 & 10/09 Women Make Waves Int’l Film Festival Taiwan 2019/10/10 Festival Angaelica in Duluth, MN

Trailer

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Details:
Prod. Country – DRC / Germany
Language – Swahili
Subtitles – English
Filming Locations – Bukavu & Katana (DRC)

Specs:

Duration – 22 minutes
Completed – September 2018
Shooting Format – 2K
Screening Format – DCP
Sound – 5.1
Aspect Ratio – 2.35:1






Director’s Statement

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With ‘The Prophetess’ I wanted to tell two stories. One about a pair of powerful and inspiring women, overcoming physical and psychological trauma caused by sexual terrorism. In doing so they reclaim their own narrative, able to control their present and write their own futures devoid of societal pressures.

Contemporaneously the mythical story of Kimpa Vita plays out — she is the mother of African Revolution in The Kingdom of the Kongo (1390-1857).
She was the first to fight colonialism and the patriarchy, she stood and suffered for all women.

The scenes were scripted around real events with the ultimate goal to show an alternative empowering imagery that goes beyond the western reportage narrative of the suffering country. 

We only hope that in telling and spreading their story of struggle and rebirth we can inspire daughters, granddaughters, mothers and their male contemporaries to stand up for change.

As a female director, I wanted to make a statement to global sisterhood, that legions of women stand beside our sisters in the DR Congo, who are being silenced systematically, who carry the weight of a nation on their shoulders.


Protagonist 

Furaha M’Bagaya



Protagonist 


Venantie M’Mucindigirhi



During our casting we met many inspirational women, introduced through, Centre Olame, a mentoring programme fighting gender based violence in the South Kivu Province region. This organization helps to restore the dignity and socio-economic reintegration of women and girls. Women who have overcome horrific sexual assault, most of them multiple times over, suffering from fractured families and home lives.

Our two protagonists Furaha and Venantie immediately stuck out. Despite being raped several times by FDLR militia, they held an incredible strength inside of them to make a change and to tell their own stories.




Crew



Writer / Director Sylvie Weber


Growing up in a small village in Southern Germany allowed plenty of time for Sylvie to create fictional worlds in her own head — over time they developed into a desire to create stories for herself and others. Being of German-Dominican descent, her confrontation with belonging and identity is often times reflected in her storytelling, alongside a consistent desire to unveil the character within. 
Her most formative period of young adult life came during her studies in India, where she began to engage more deeply with the greater representation and empowerment of women through film. With this in mind, her career has seen her explore various formats of the medium, shorts, music videos, documentaries and advertising.
In line with her own passion, she embarked on a journey with the NGO, Journalists for Human Rights, to teach aspiring journalists in the Democratic Republic of the Congo “to cover human rights stories objectively and effectively’ — to bring awareness to the problems they face, within and without their country.


Producer Margaret Flatley


Margaret is a Berlin based photographer, journalist and writer. She worked in event production for Acne Studios and Mary Lennox prior to her foray into film production. In addition to producing the film, she organized and supervised two video journaism trainings in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which took place in Bukavu and Kinshasa respectively. She did so in cooporation with the Canadian non-for-profit organization, Journalists for Human Rights.


Line Producer, Translator, Voice Over  Sandra Bashengezi

Sandra is a journalists, educator and radio producer based out of Bukavu, DRC. In 2014 she co-founded Eastern Congo’s first professional Journalism School (L’Ecole technique de journalisme) with the aim to promote fair and healthy information in the media, to contribute to freedom of expression and information through the necessary training and professionalisation of future journalists.

 
Cinematographer Nicolai Niermann


Nicolai is a German cinematographer working on a broad range of international projects. Parallel to his studies in philosophy and social science, he began experimenting with video installation, fashion film and music video. His collaborations with director Jonas Lindstroem led to the 2017 film installation “Truth or Dare” which was premiered at Johann König Galerie in Berlin and screened at Kunstlinie NL in Amsterdam. His work on the music video “Element” by Kendrick Lamar gained multiple award nominations for best cinematorgraphy and won a D&AD Graphite Pencil.

Composer Jonas Meyer


Jonas is a Berlin based composer and music producer. After finishing his master degree in keyboards- and music production,he specialised in composing music for theater, film and media. Alongside his own projects, such as Holographic Field, Frames and Unland.
His work combines elements of electronic, acoustic, orchestral, and experimental genres to create imaginative and diverse soundscapes, underlining inner perspectives and emotional processes.

Script Supervisor Michael Tarzia



Location Manager  Salomon Balangane


Salomon is working as a location manager in the DRC since 2005. He has graduated with a Masters degree in Peace and Development (Université  Évangélique  en Afrique) as well as English and African  Culture (ISP Bukavu DRC). He has worked on five documentaries which have premiered at numerous festivals around the world, and co-produced the films „Sexual Violence“,  „Weapon of War“ and „Justice for Sale“ together with IF productions, Netherlands. Apart from that, he manages a local organisation named "Together for AFRICA“ aimed at promoting  women's rights.

Editor Nina Ijas


Nina lives in Helsinki and Berlin and specializes in editing and writing documentary film. She has a background as a journalist at the Finnish Public broadcaster YLE, and has graduated MA in film editing from the Aalto University School of Art and Design. Her projects have screened around the world at prominent festivals like HotDocs, Docpoint and DMZ Docs, and gone on to win prizes at among others Nordisk Panorama, the U.K. Film Festival and the grand prize at EBS International Documentary Festival in Korea.

Editor Clara Anders


Clara Andres studied at the filmuniversity “HFF Konrad Wolf” in Potsdam/Babelsberg. With a main focus on editing, her films have been screened at numerous festivals such as “ Festival de Cannes” and “Festival des Deutschen Films“. Film allows her an expression in the argument of cultural, social and political aspects. The accumulated experience in her travels through various countries such as South Africa, Israel and Argentina had a strong influence on her artistic work and helped her form the basis of a better understanding on the contexts mentioned above.





Team:
Assistant Director of Photography: Wesley Salamone, Sound Recordist: Tipo Musafiri Chubagala,
Colorist: Marina Starke, Sound Designer: Claudine Fanilia, Editor‘s Assistant: Philip Bell
VFX Company: Trixter, Supervisor: Michael Wortmann, Producer: Franciska Puppe, Coordinator: Ramona Dominick

Field Producer: Mike Maurice Mwamba, Ass. Field Producer: Franklin Mukungukilwa

Supporting Cast:
Women: Sylvie Kitumaini, Faida Katebera, Judith Byaluma, Psychologist: Pascasie M’nyahura, 
Kimpa Vita: Caroline Bashengezi,  Baptism pastor: Kaseke Musiwa, Bride: Sakina Bibuka, Groom: Bahati Bibuka Boby

Special Thanks:
Prince Murhula, Fanta Diaby, Rachel Pulfer, Michèle Quimet, Ilse Van Velsen, Sebastian Frowein, Sybella Stevens & to our private donors for making the film possible.

Bukavu,
The Democratic Republic of the Congo


This film was shot in collaboration with the NGO Journalists for Human Rights. During their one moth stay in the DRC, Sylvie Weber & Margaret Flatley trained young journalists in video reporting.
The workshops were organized with Bukavu’s first professional training school for journalists facilitaed through JHR.
The primary goal of JHR is to strengthen journalists in wartorn countries across the world to report on human rights issues effectively and objectively.

Find out more here.


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