Tall as the Baobab Tree
Scene from documentary "Tall as the Baobab Tree"
Scene from documentary "Tall as the Baobab Tree"
Scene from documentary "Tall as the Baobab Tree"
Scene from documentary "Tall as the Baobab Tree"
Scene from documentary "Tall as the Baobab Tree"

Tall as the Baobab Tree

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  •  Directed By: Jeremy Teicher
  • Produced By: CyberSmart Learning Institute


Released: 2013
Running Time: 83 min
English & French Captions/ NTSC
 Children, Youth, and Family, Human Rights, Sociology, Women's Studies

A powerful voice from Africa's young generation, TALL AS THE BAOBAB TREE poignantly depicts a family struggling to find its footing at the outer edge of the modern world, where questions of right and wrong are not always black and white. Coumba and her little sister Debo are the first to leave their family’s remote African village, where meals are prepared over open fires and water is drawn from wells, to attend school in the bustling city. But when an accident suddenly threatens their family’s survival, their father decides to sell 11-year-old Debo into an arranged marriage. Torn between loyalty to her elders and her dreams for the future, Coumba hatches a secret plan to rescue her young sister from a fate she did not choose. TALL AS THE BAOBAB TREE gives a voice to the countless young girls in the developing world who are still being denied an education by forced early marriage.


Inspired by true stories from director Jeremy Teicher's 2011 Student Academy Award-nominated documentary, and selected as a finalist in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 38th Annual Academy Awards competition, TALL AS THE BAOBAB TREE is an absorbing blend of fiction and reality featuring a cast of local villagers in roles that mirror their actual lives. They have never acted in a film before. The film was shot on location in the village of Sinthiou Mbadane, Senegal with no electricity or running water. It is also the first international feature film in the colloquial Pulaar language.


  • Children's Rights Award - FilmFest Osnabrück 2013
  • Best Screenplay - Hell's Half Mile Film & Music Festival 2013
  • Best Feature Film - Rural Route Film Festival 2013
  • Best Feature Film - Doha-Giffoni Jury Award 2012


“TALL AS THE BAOBAB TREE effectively unpicks the complexity of cultural change… In this moving and original film, we are gently guided to move the conversation past indignation towards constructive understanding, and to give a thought not only to human rights but to what change and economic progress feels like to those subject to development.”
— Holly Young, Development In Action.

"Courageous and True." - Brandon Harris, Filmmaker Magazine

"A grand cinematic experience which is very much worth your time, for it is a fine demonstration of how a film can be so small and so large, so sorrowful and so uplifting at the same time." - John Sharp, The Hollywood News

"- a moving story...about the power of education and its life-changing consequences." - Maria Caspani, Reuters