In the 19th century, French military leaders Voulet and Chanoine marched with their troops towards Chad in a frenzy of colonial conquest fantasies. In the process, they massacred everyone who stood in their way. Sarraounia, Queen of the Aznas, was one of the few rulers in the region who stood up to the invaders. Her story makes her one of the key figures of African resistance against European colonisation.

The feature film SARRAOUNIA is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Abdoulaye Mamani, an activist and writer from Niger, who is the subject of a documentary at this festival (see p. ....).

Med Hondo’s feature film was censored in France due to its critical attitude to colonialism. The cinematic masterpiece, recently restored by the Berlin-based Arsenal film institute, will be premiered in Cologne at the 2021 Festival.

In cooperation with Jutta Vogel Stiftung

SARRAOUNIA Direction: Med Hondo, 35mm, OF m. engl. UT, 120 min.


Amina Mamani Abdoulaye graduated in production and directing from the Training Institute for Information and Communication Techniques (IFTIC) in Niamey, the capital of Niger, in 2012. In 2013, her graduation film won the prize for the best documentary in the film schools section at the pan-African film festival FESPACO in Ouagadougou. In 2014, she directed the film LE SILENCE DES PAPIERS, which she presented at several festivals including the Festival des Cinémas d'Afrique in Apt, France. This was followed in 2018 by her most successful film to date, SUR LES TRACES DE MAMANI ABDOULAYE. This cinematic portrait of her father – who was a writer and fought for Niger’s independence – was screened not only at festivals in Algeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Cameroon, Nigeria and at Mashariki in Rwanda, but also in Amiens, Lausanne and New York. It is also part of the programme of the 18th AFFK in 2021.