Binti, a 12-year-old girl, was born in Congo but has lived with her father Jovial in Belgium since she was a baby. Despite not having any legal documents, Binti wants to live a normal life, and dreams of becoming a famous vlogger like her idol Tatyana. Elias, who is 11, runs his ‘save-the-okapi-club’ without the help of his father, who’s moved to Brazil following his divorce with Elias’ mother Christine.
When their annoying neighbour invites Christine on a romantic trip to Paris, Elias, upset and angry, runs away to his treehouse. At the same time, police raid Binti and Jovial’s home, sending the two on the run, and Binti into the path of Elias in his treehouse.
When their parents meet shortly after, Binti quickly sees the perfect solution to all her problems. If she can match her dad to Elias’ mom, they can get married and stay in Belgium. Binti joins Elias’ okapi club, and while they organise a big fundraiser together, she secretly starts her plan to make Christine fall in love with Jovial. Until Elias finds out what Binti is really up to…
I’m fascinated by courageous characters, in this case children who are fighting for what they know they deserve, who have a voice worth listening to, if only someone would pass them the mic.
I was young when I thought I knew what I wanted to do in life, and I lived in an environment that allowed me to do exactly that. Every single day, I’m grateful for this. Because imagine: you are a teenager, dreaming of a future with all your friends. But whilst they have the freedom to develop their talents, you don’t even have the freedom to show your ID, because you don’t have one.
Twelve-year-old Binti dreams of being famous (which 12-year-old doesn’t? I know I did) but, on paper, she doesn’t exist. Online though, she has more than a thousand followers. Something’s just not right about that. Binti meets Elias, a lonely Belgian animal lover who wants to save the okapi and is still dealing with his parents’ divorce. She wants to match her dad to Elias’ mom because she believes that in doing so, she will be able to stay in Belgium. Elias dreams of organising a benefit to save the okapis, but he can’t do so on his own. Although at first, they have separate agendas, both children will eventually understand that together they stand stronger, that they need each other, and that together is better than alone.
Binti is a film in which two children learn that they need each other to accomplish their dreams. Despite the seriousness of the subject, Binti is an entertaining and approachable film, full of colour, humour, friendship and love. It believes in a successful multi-cultural society and in following your dreams. The social drama gets a positive twist in combining it with the energy and humour of a romantic comedy.
Heading home from football, Yasmina sees her father being arrested.
Directors: Ali Esmili, Claire Cahen
Writer and Director: Frederike Migom
Producer: Katleen Goossens
Co-Producers: Annabella Nezri, Floor Onrust
Line Producer: Wim Ah Goossens
Production Manager: Dorien Onsea
1st Assistant Director: Johan Ivens
Location Manager: Jana Mannaerts
Director of Photography: Joachim Philippe
Gaffer: Mattijs Nackaerts
Editor: Clemence Samson
Production Designer: Talina Casier
Costume Designer: Sofie Callaerts
Hair & Make-Up Designer: Ingeborg Van Eetvelde Composer: Le Motel
Sound Engineer: Coen Gravendaal
Supervising Sound Editor: Jan Schermer
Bebel Tshiani Baloji (Binti)
Mo Bakker (Elias)
Joke Devynck (Christine)
Frank Dierens (Floris)
Alix Konadu (Maaika)
Veronica Van Belle (Zoë)
Aboubakr Bensaihi (Farid)
Kuno Bakker (Elias’ father)
Tatyana Beloy (Tatyana)
T A P E PRESENTS: BUT WHERE ARE YOU REALLY FROM?
Burning an Illusion
Sat 3 Jul 14:20; Thu 8 Jul 17:45
While We Live (Medan vi lever)
Sat 3 Jul 17:30; Tue 20 Jul 20:30
Sun 4 Jul 18:20; Mon 19 Jul 20:40
Eyimofe (This Is My Desire)
Fri 9 Jul 17:40
Sat 10 Jul 20:50; Sat 24 Jul 11:40
Head-On (Gegen die Wand)
Sun 11 Jul 18:30; Tue 27 Jul 20:40
Black Girl (La noire de…)
Mon 12 Jul 18:20
Wed 14 Jul 17:40 (+ live spoken-word performance); Wed 21 Jul 20:40
What Will People Say (Hva vil folk si)
Fri 16 Jul 20:30; Sat 31 Jul 17:30
In Conversation with Nikesh Shukla
Fri 23 Jul 18:20
Sat 24 Jul 17:20; Fri 30 Jul 20:40
Shoot the Messenger + Q&A with director Ngozi Onwurah, hosted by T A P E’s Angela Moneke
Thu 29 Jul 17:45
Culture Shock: Short Film Programme + Q&A with UNDR LNDN
Fri 30 Jul 17:40
T A P E was founded in 2015 as a response to the lack of representation on screen.
Find out more about this curatorial collective at tapecollective.co.uk
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Programme notes and credits compiled by the BFI Documentation Unit
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