‘Kinshasa now’ a virtual reality film about children accused of witchcraft

Kinshasa now

virtual reality film Kinshasa Now follows Mika, 14 years old. Accused of witchcraft and thrown out of his home, Mika must understand the codes of the streets to survive. The spectator is immersed, thanks to a 360° VR helmet, in the middle of the streets of Kinshasa while discovering the daily life of a street child.


35,000 children accused of witchcraft and rejected by their families are trying to survive on the streets of Kinshasa, DRC. Mika, 14, suddenly finds herself in this terrifying situation. To cope with this transition, he must learn the codes of the street, find a way to eat and sleep, but also protect himself by joining a street gang. How will he cope with this new life? As the story unfolds, you have choices. Which path would you choose?

virtual reality projection

Here is the reaction ofAboulaye-Toureat the end of the screening.

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Marc-Henri Wajnberg, Kinshasa now, 2020.

Marc-Henri Wajnberg

Marc-Henri Wajnberg studied cinema at INSAS in Brussels. He is a screenwriter, director, actor and film producer. His productions are eclectic: he has directed and produced 3000 very short films including the famous collection of 1200 Claps broadcast internationally, shorts including Le Réveil with Jean-Claude Dreyfus awarded at Cannes and a number of documentaries including Oscar Niemeyer, an architect engaged in the century. His feature film Just Friends represented Belgium in the race for the Oscars (1994).

In 2009, he left to film musicians in Kinshasa and discovered the Kinshasa art scene, triggering a revolution in his cinematographic practice. The confrontation with the city is a shock and his project becomes a fiction in a documentary style: Kinshasa Kids, the story of a group of so-called “street” children, who form a music group to thwart their fate.

After Kinshasa Kids (selected in Venice and 70 festivals), he directed Enfants sorciers, Kinshasa, Kinshasa Now (selected in Venice) and the feature film I am Chance (released May 22) which all deal with the issue of children “from the street “.

Marc-Henri Wajnberg on Kinshasa Now

Making a film in Kinshasa is an experience that marked me for life. Kinshasa Now addresses the theme of so-called “street” children. In the background of the story, different themes appear such as family, solidarity, religion, parallel economy… Through my films, I want to give a voice, a visibility to these children. In order to be as close as possible to their reality, the scenario is directly based on their experience. All my films made in Kinshasa over the past ten years are the result of collaboration with street children and professionals in the field. During filming, I was accompanied by the Network of Street Children and Youth Educators, which coordinates more than 164 centers that help with the reintegration of street children and the promotion of children’s rights. I also want to pay tribute to artists, visual artists, performers, musicians from the Kinshasa scene who invent and create in difficult conditions. Spectators will be able to discover their work in Kinshasa Now.

A virtual reality shoot

As a filmmaker, I like to make films in the techniques, styles or formats that best suit the stories I tell. For Kinshasa Now, virtual reality has imposed itself to better feel the intensity and reality of these lives, to create a feeling of immersion and therefore of closeness with the children. Making a virtual reality film requires sophisticated equipment, a camera
with several lenses that shoot 360°. A complicated exercise, especially when the staging sequences take place in real life situations, such as busy streets, markets or churches.

Technical sheet

Directed by: Marc-Henri Wajnberg
Cast: Mika Bangala, Winner Kanga, David Lemba, Patrick Makambo, Chancelvie Kaponge
Interactive version: 65 minutes of film with 40 possible paths, the duration of which varies between 7 and 25 minutes.
Linear version: 21 minutes
Year: 2020

A Wajnbrosse production
In co-production with RG & Créatifs Associés (DRC), Wim Forceville (Belgium)
With the support of the Cinema and Audiovisual Center of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Creative Europe Media, The Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF), Wallimage Creative and the Canada Media Fund, Belga Productions, Tax Shelter, UNICEF, Amnesty International, Trust Merchant Bank,

Jean-François Peterbroeck Foundation, Groupe Forrest International, Wallonie-Bruxelles International and the Swiss Association of Friends of Dr Janusz Korczak.

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‘Kinshasa now’ a virtual reality film about children accused of witchcraft

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