Children are victims of many types of violence, depending on where they are born. Our future is like a Lottery, depending on where you are born, you are going to have a bad or a good life.
Interview with Director/Writer/Editor Natxo Leuza
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
This film is born from the need to create a personal work that denounces the situation of children in many countries of Africa. Protecting children against all forms of violence is a human rights obligation that is too often not fulfilled. Born in Gambia tells the problems that several children suffer just by being born there. In Gambia, as in many neighbouring countries, children suffer from many types of violence and harmful practices and often even lose their lives. This movie is a personal journey in which I travel alone with my camera and find these personal stories.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
Gambia is the smallest country in Africa, and not many movies have been made there. This story tells the story of three children and their country. Hassan, the main character, is a very special child who ran away from home because he was accused of witchcraft. When he left home, the only thing he took was a tape recorder. Through it, we discover the other stories. The sounds reveal a beautiful and wild country, but also sadly the stories of children facing difficult challenges preventing a flourishing future.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
Born in Gambia is a personal journey discovering the problems faced by children in Gambia, such as female genital mutilation or ablation, forced or child marriage, witchcraft. What makes the film universal is the denunciation of the number of children in the world suffering and too often forgotten. If there is something that all the children of the world have in common, without exception, it is their rights, wherever they were born, whatever their skin colour and their economic or sexual status. All children in the world have the same rights but not all have the same opportunity.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
The script evolved with the stories from the children. Once I knew what stories they wanted to tell, I wrote the script and I made the trip to Gambia. I filmed a week with each child and completed the film in three intense weeks.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The feedback has been very positive. Last weekend, I was at the Tampere Film Festival in Finland, and many people are interested in the film. They told me that the film has touched them and they were very very impressed by the poetry of the images. They were also surprised that I had made the film completely alone.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I would like to raise people's awareness to not forget the rights of children in the world. This film was made to reach as many people as possible so all help in talking about it is very welcome. Thank you very much for this interview!
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
I am looking for film festival directors, journalists, buyers...
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I only hope that after seeing the film people reflect and that a debate can be generated. There are so many children abandoned to their fate, without the support of institutions and governments, left to do the impossible because their rights are not respected.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
How would have been my childhood and my future, if I were born in a country like Gambia?
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
I am now working on a musical documentary and preparing my next film taking place in Nigeria.
Interview: March 2019
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Born In Gambia
Children are victims of many types of violence, depending on where they are born. Our future is like a Lottery, and depending on where you are born, you are going to have a bad or a good change in life.
Director: Natxo Leuza
Producer: Galapan Productions
Writer: Natxo Leuza
About the writer, director and producer:
NATXO LEUZA works as a filmmaker, screenwriter, editor and post-production. Has a long career in the world of documentary, working on many projects in several countries of the world: Sierra Leone, Benin, Togo, Mauritania, The Gambia, Peru, Guatemala, El Salvador, Qatar, Haiti, Germany.
GALAPAN PRODUCTIONS is a Bilbao based production company founded by Iñigo Zubero and Ander Barinaga-Rementeria whose objective is to create, develop and produce experiences for different formats and media. In 2018 they produced Natxo Leuza’s Born in Gambia short film and they also produced some music videos for bands like Belako and Lester y Eliza. They are now preparing a new short film titled Regina.
Key cast: Hassan, Mariam, Hawa real people and main characters of the film.
Looking for: buyers
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month? Queens Film Festival/New York - 31-03-2019; Picture this... film festival/Canada - 10 - 04 - 2019; Festival de Documental Etnográfico de Sobrarbe/Spain - 06 - 04-2019; Festival Artículo 31/Spain - - 06 - 04-2019