Rising Up at Night
After an election period that has shaken its already precarious political and economic stability, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is attempting to revive the project of building Inga III, Africa’s largest power plant, on the Congo River. The capital of Kinshasa is shrouded in darkness and insecurity, and its population is struggling for access to lighting. In a relentless quest, Kudi, the head of a family and a street vendor who sells lighting supplies, unites the people of his neighbourhood to make their dream come true: they hope to purchase electrical cable stolen by gangs in order to restore electricity in time for Christmas and New Year's celebrations. Rising Up at Night is a subtle portrayal of a population that, despite the challenges it faces, is reinventing itself in an environment that is plagued by violence, coloured by the uncertainty of tomorrow, and immersed in the beauty of Kinshasa nights.
Inneke Van Waeyenberghe
Mutotu Production (Congo)
Twenty Nine Studio & Production (Belgium)
Film Five GmbH (Germany)
In 2018, the Congolese government abruptly announced the signing of an “exclusive development agreement” to realise a project called the “Great Dam,” which is intended to provide a large portion of the African continent with electricity and light. This announcement was followed by a fraught electoral process and the first peaceful transfer of power from the outgoing president to the newly elected leader. It was within this context that I decided to film the nights of Kinshasa, which, even when it is blanketed in darkness is far from being asleep. In fact, Kinshasa is never asleep – it is a city that is perpetually resilient, always trying to provide what is necessary to sustain the few night owls who are unafraid to brave the darkness in search of what they need to survive the feverish reign of the night. In a society where violence, extreme poverty and corruption are king, and where religious faith is a means of alleviating popular discontent, this film bears witness to the courage of these men and women who are resisting the obscurity in which my country finds itself. It is this self-illumination through which beauty can be found.
Né en 1990, Nelson Makengo vit et travaille à Kinshasa. Il est un réalisateur et un artiste visuel congolais dont le travail oscille entre l'art contemporain et le cinéma. Son dernier film, Up at Night, a remporté le Best Short Documentary Award IDFA en 2019, et le prix Dérives au FIFF Namur 2020. Il a été présenté au Full Frame Documentary International Film Festival, True/False Film Festival et Cinéma du réel. E'ville (2018) a remporté le Sharjah Art Foundation Prize Residency Program à la Art Biennial Sesc_VideoBrasil en 2019. Il développe actuellement son premier long métrage documentaire Rising Up at Night, prix Brouillon d'un rêve et sélectionné à IDFAcademy, Berlinale Talents et Durban Film Mart.
In 2011, Kiripi Katembo Siku launched Mutotu Productions in Kinshasa with the intent of supporting the arts in general, and filmmakers in particular. Since Siku’s death, the company has been headed by his collaborator, Dada Kahindo, who has worked on Mutotu's various projects since its creation.
Born in Dakar, in 2017 Rosa Spaliviero founded the independent Brussels-based company Twenty Nine Studio & Production to support innovative cinema and young filmmakers in daring film projects that feature a strong social or political dimension. Twenty Nine chooses to produce films that open up to the world through the use of unique aesthetic approaches.
Fond International de la Francophonie, Jeune Fond de Création Francophone, IDFA Bertha Fund Classic, SCAM Brouillon d'un rêve, Olafur Eliasson, Little Sun
December 2019 to April 2021, Kinshasa, DRC
Location scouting and filming started at the end of December 2019, suspended due to the pandemic.
Production partners in Africa, ancillary to development, post-production funds and TV presale, co-production platforms in Africa, Europe and America