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    • Directed by: Elia Moutamid
    • Released: 2024 (educational)
    • Year of Production: 2023
Running Time: 52 min
Language: Italian, Cameroon, English
Subtitle Options: English Closed Captions
Subjects: Race Power and Privilege, African Studies

Maka is a documentary about Geneviève Makaping, a Cameroonian-Italian anthropologist, writer and the first Black woman to be named the director of a newspaper in Italy. The film offers a detailed account of Makaping's perilous journey of migration from Cameroon across the desert and the ocean, her arrival in Italy in 1982 following the tragic death of her partner, her success as a journalist and television host, and her more recent relocation and current teaching job in Mantua. Maka focuses on questions of national belonging, and it reflects on how the perception of migration and race has changed since Makaping first came to Italy in the 1990s. The making of the film was also influenced by the anthropological research method defined by Makaping in her landmark text Reversing the Gaze. What if You Were the Other? (2001), Maka interrogates how our perception of Italy today changes when viewed from the perspective of a Black woman.

Official Selection at 2023 BIFF Sweden

2023 Best DocumentaryIntegrazione Film Festival, Bergamo, Italy

2023 Best DocumentaryFilm Only Film Festival, Canada

2023 COOP Prize - Voci di Donne Invisibili, Terra di Tutti Film Festival, Bologna, Italy

2023 The Winston Ryder Award for Best Sound, St Andrews Film Festival, Scotland


“A brave and necessary film” HuffPost Italia


Maka reveals the important work on the themes of racism and discrimination by a pioneer Black Italian intellectual and activist” La voce di New York


Maka starts as a personal story and expands to a wider investigation into the perception of migration, race and what it means to be ‘other.’” Cinema Daily US

About the filmmaker 

Elia Mouatamid (Fez, Morocco, 1982) moved with his family to Northern Italy, to Rovato, in the province of Brescia, in 1983. In 2001 he received his diploma in mechanics and began working as the head of quality control at a company. A theatre lover, in 2008 he enrolled at the academy Spazio H. Vox in Brescia and after completing the three-year course performed in various productions. In 2008, he enrolled at the Mohole Film School in Milan, where he received his degree in movie directing. Between 2008 and 2014, he shot various short films and documentaries, with which he participated at national and international festivals. In 2015, he shot the short GAIWAN (2015), which was presented at over seventy festivals throughout the world and received twenty-five awards and numerous recognitions. TALIEN(2017) is his first feature-length documentary.     

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