The Waiting Bench (Le Banc d’attente)

Synopsis (momentan nur in Englisch verfügbar)
"What do you want to do? Go back to Europe or sit on our bench with us?"

That is the dilemma I was presented by my Sudanese elders. The elders in question are the filmmakers who founded the Sudanese Film Group in 1968. They are now aged between 60 and 80 and journey throughout the country with a travelling cinema. They pass their knowledge on to young people and inspire the love of cinema in a ravaged land, despite only having a canvas screen that cannot withstand the desert storms. Even buying an inflatable screen becomes an epic undertaking, a new adventure to achieve one last glorious feat, their "heroic act" according to Ibrahim: to resuscitate a cinema in Khartoum, in a country where consumer society has completely outshone any cultural life.

Director’s note (momentan nur in Englisch verfügbar)
The story of The Waiting Bench is that of four filmmakers: Ibrahim, Soliman, Manar and Altayeb, all members of the Sudanese Film Group. This is the tale of their 42-year struggle to make films and the tireless hope that unites them forever. I will tell the story of struggle, passion and a gang of crafty devils with a fine sense of humour. Through their daily lives, their ambition to reopen a cinema, the memory of their disappointed dreams, what matters most to them is cinema and independence to Sudanese people.

World Premiere
Berlin International Film Festival 2019, Panorama

Key festivals and awards
Berlin International Film Festival 2019, Glashütte Documentary Film Award and Panorama Audience Award, Tanit d'Or, Carthage International Film Festival 2019; Golden Star, El Gouna Film Festival 2019; FIPRESCI and Special Jury Award, Istanbul International Film Festival 2019; Grand Jury Prize, Mumbai Film Festival 2019

Sudan / Chad, 2019
Director: Suhaib Gasmelbari
Producers: AGAT Films & Cie (France), Goï-Goï Productions (Chad)
German WCF Partner: tbc
World sales: Doc & Films (France)

Funded in the WCF Jury meeting in November 2015
Funding amount: 30.000 €