135 000 views online of Al Jazeera English’s First Episode Africa Direct Short Documentaries

In just one week, the first two short documentaries in Al Jazeera English’s Africa Direct series have enjoyed almost 135 000 views.

The two short documentaries are part of a new series of African stories by African filmmakers. They launched only a few days ago and seized very enthusiastic responses from viewers.  On the White Nile, by filmmaker Akuol de Mabior (South Sudan), which takes us into the world of Rebecca Lith Chol a fishing boat captain, drew comments such as: “Thank you to everyone involved for sharing this story with us. Makes me so proud to be an African woman. More of this, please!” and  “That is what we call Women Empowerment. she has done something incredible and with much dedication, she got it. South Sudan to the world.”

The other film, The Bookmaker by filmmaker Girum Berehanetsehay, which looks at the ancient art of bookmaking in Ethiopia, elicited warm feedback: “This was beautiful. Really great storytelling, great videography and production. Massive respect. Great work” and “the job of any media is depicting the truth and actual facts of events, please keep this way and show the true Ethiopian experience.”

“We’ve received overwhelmingly warm and positive responses from our global viewers to these short documentaries, which tell authentic African stories, made by great African filmmaking talent,” says Ingrid Falck, head of documentaries at Al Jazeera English, who conceived and commissioned the series. “It’s very gratifying to see feedback that appreciates these multi-dimensional insights into a range of African experiences, which go beyond the usual coverage of the continent. Not only are these responses useful for us but they help the filmmakers see how compelling their stories are to other Africans – and of course to the rest of the  world.”

Africa Direct has added another documentary, from Ivory Coast, to this series: Scrapyard Anoumabo by Joël Akafou features Konate Massioudou an enterprising man who has built a successful business in Anoumabo, a massive electronic waste scrapyard in Abidjan.  Here he repairs, rebuilds and sells some of the thousands of discarded household items dumped every day from Europe. Akafou’s captivating film transports us into the thick of Konate’s life. Always on the go, he fixes stoves, hustles for customers, negotiates deals and chats with his assistant – all in sign language. His deafness neither defines him, nor deters him. Against a cacophonous backdrop of hammering and scrapyard sound, he shares his busy life and his inspiring story.

For this series Al Jazeera partnered with Big World Cinema, with the team that includes Executive Producer Steven Markovitz (SA), Series Producers Angèle Diabang (Senegal) and Brian Tilley (SA).

The 14 documentaries can be viewed on Al Jazeera English, or on their website or YouTube Channel  https://bit.ly/AfricaDirectPlaylistYouTube

Episode 1: On the White Nile (South Sudan) & The Bookmaker (Ethiopia) (Flighted 30 Nov and now on Al Jazeera English, website or YouTube Channel)

Episode 2: In The Aluminium Village (Benin),  Throttle Queens (Kenya) & The Cave (Algeria) (Flighted 7 and now on Al Jazeera English, website or YouTube Channel)

Episode 3: Beïrey-Hou: Desert Libraries (Mali), The Young Cyclist (Rwanda) and Happiness (Cameroon)

TX 14 Dec

Episode 4:  Diggers and Merchants (DRC) & Settling (Rwanda)

TX 21 Dec

Episode 5: The Man Who Plants Baobabs (Burkina Faso) & Kalanda: A Wrestler’s Dream (Senegal)

TX 28 Dec

Episode 6: Colours Are Alive Here (Kenya) & Scrapyard Anoumabo (Ivory Coast)

TX 4 Jan

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