Dieudo Hamadi

I chose the documentary genre because it was just the most accessible. If, like me, you want to make cinema in Kinshasa, there is hardly any other possibility

A talented representative of the young generation of Congolese filmmakers, since 2010 Dieudo Hamadi has been examining his country's dysfunctions through portraits filmed with a hand-held camera. His direct cinema has been very successful at international festivals.

Updated on 23/04/2019

2 min

A director born in 1984 in Kisangani, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dieudonné Hamadi began by studying medicine, before learning the art of cinema through various documentary and editing workshops. Already known for his short film Ladies in Waiting (“Dames en attente”) in 2009, he made his first feature film in 2013, Atalaku, a movie about the Congolese election campaigns in 2012. In 2014, with National Diploma (“Examen d’Etat”), he follows high school students who are unable to pass their final exams because they cannot pay their teachers.

Dieudo Hamadi received the Cinéma du réel Grand prize in 2017 for Mama Colonel (“Maman Colonelle”), which follows the story of a police officer in charge of child protection and combating sexual violence in the Congo.

Born in a country without a cinema, Dieudo Hamadi chose to portray the Congo using the minimal resources for which documentary filmmaking allows. Camera in hand, the director follows his characters through their lives, without any staging: A brave mother fighting violence against women and children during the war in DRC in Mama Colonel, under-funded high school students who are struggling to get their final degree in National Diploma

The cinema of Dieudo Hamadi is firmly on the side of those who are fighting to survive in a Congo caught in the chaos of democratic transition after years of armed conflict. He does not interview but rather observes, does not comment but instead listens. For this great admirer of Raymond Depardon, attention to the characters is paramount.

His uncompromising view of contemporary Congolese society quickly made Dieudo Hamadi a rising star of African cinema. Experienced on the international festival circuit, with Ladies in Waiting he was selected at the Berlinale and Cinéma du réel in Paris in 2010, then in 2013, he won the Joris Ivens Prize for Best First Film at the Cinéma du réel for Atalaku.

His second feature film, National Diploma, was awarded the FIDADOC Grand Prize in 2014 at the Agadir International Documentary Festival, the SCAM International Prize and the Editors Prize at the Cinéma du réel Festival. In 2017, he was the first African filmmaker to receive the Cinéma du réel Grand Prize for Mama Colonel.

Maman Colonelle ( trailer )
Maman Colonelle ( trailer )
  • 2008


    Dieudo Hamadi quits his medical studies to devote himself fully to his film education.

  • 2013


    He makes his first feature film, Atalaku, in which he follows a destitute pastor who becomes involved with the Democratic Republic of Congo's 2011 presidential elections.

  • 2014


    National Diploma wins the Scam Prize and the Editors Prize at the Cinéma du réel.

  • 2017


    The Cinéma du réel Grand Prize is awarded to Mama Colonel.

  • 2018


    Kinshasa Makambo is presented in the Panorama section of the Berlinale.

The Institut français and the director.

Mama Colonel (“Maman Colonel”) by Dieudo Hamadi is broadcast by the Cinémathèque Afrique which brings together, at the Institut français, a catalogue of over 1,600 African films from 1960 to the present day.


Learn more about the Cinémathèque Afrique.

L'institut français, LAB