Fiche Film
Talking About Trees
Suhaib Gasmelbari
Pays concerné : Soudan
Réalisateur(s) : Suhaib Gasmelbari
Avec : Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Marie Balducchi
Durée : 90
Genre : portrait
Type : documentaire


Ibrahim, Manar, Soliman et Eltayeb, quatre réalisateurs soudanais et amis depuis plus de 45 essaient d’influer l’amour du cinéma dans un un passé meurtri. Un de leurs derniers actions d’éclat est de ressuscité une salle de cinéma à Khartoum, la capitale.

Un film de Suhaib Gasmelbari

Soudan / Tchad / France, 2019, Documentaire, 1h30 min. DCP

Réalisateur : Suhaib Gasmelbari

Marie Balducchi, pour Agat Films & Cie
Mahamat Saleh Haroun, pour Goï Goï Productions
Mahadi Al Tayeb, pour Sudanese Film Group

Producteur allemand : tbc

avec le soutien de
World Cinema Fund (WCF, Berlin): commission de Novembre 2015. montant : 30.000 €

Ventes Mondiales : Doc & Film (France)

Agat Films & Cie, Marie Balducchi


Four older Sudanese filmmakers with passion for film battle to bring cinema-going back to Sudan, not without resistance. Their’Sudanese Film Club’ have decided to revive an old cinema, and again draw attention to Sudanese film history.

Ibrahim, Manar, Soliman and Eltayeb, four Sudanese filmmakers and close friends since more than 45 years, try to inspire the love of cinema in a wounded country. One of their last heroic acts is to resuscitate a cinema theatre in Khartoum.

« What do you want to do? Go back to Europe or sit on our bench with us? »
That is the dilemma I was presented by my Sudanese elders. The elders in question are the filmmakers who founded the Sudanese Film Group in 1968. They are now aged between 60 and 80 and journey throughout the country with a travelling cinema. They pass their knowledge on to young people and inspire the love of cinema in a ravaged land, despite only having a canvas screen that cannot withstand the desert storms. Even buying an inflatable screen becomes an epic undertaking, a new adventure to achieve one last glorious feat, their « heroic act » according to Ibrahim: to resuscitate a cinema in Khartoum, in a country where consumer society has completely outshone any cultural life.

A film by Suhaib Gasmelbari

Sudan / Chad / France, 2019, Documentary, 90 min. DCP

Director’s note
The story of The Waiting Bench is that of four filmmakers: Ibrahim, Soliman, Manar and Altayeb, all members of the Sudanese Film Group. This is the tale of their 42-year struggle to make films and the tireless hope that unites them forever. I will tell the story of struggle, passion and a gang of crafty devils with a fine sense of humour. Through their daily lives, their ambition to reopen a cinema, the memory of their disappointed dreams, what matters most to them is cinema and independence to Sudanese people.

Genre: Art / Music / Culture
Genre: Human Interest / Social Issues
Genre: Politics / Society
Country of Production: France
Country of Production: Sudan
Country of Production: Chad

Director: Suhaib Gasmelbari
Writer: Suhaib Gasmelbari
Stars: Suleiman Ibrahim, Ibrahim Shaddad

Marie Balducchi for Agat Films & Cie

Mahamat Saleh Haroun for Goï Goï Productions
Mahadi Al Tayeb, for Sudanese Film Group

German WCF Partner: tbc

with the support of World Cinema Fund (WCF, Berlin): Funded in the Jury meeting in November 2015. Funding amount: 30.000 €

World sales: Doc & Film (France)

Agat Films & Cie, Marie Balducchi

Selected for
IDFA Bertha Fund 2016
IDFA Bertha Fund 2015
IDFA Forum 2015
IDFA Forum category: Round Table

2019 | El Gouna International Film Festival 2019
* Nominee: Golden Star – Feature Documentary Competition (Suhaib Gasmelbari)

2019 | Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival
* Nominee: Golden Apricot – Feature Competition (Suhaib Gasmelbari)

2019 | Hamptons International Film Festival
* Nominee: Golden Starfish Award – Documentary Feature (Suhaib Gasmelbari)

2019 |Istanbul International Film Festival, Turkey
* Winner: FIPRESCI Prize – International Competition (Suhaib Gasmelbari)
« For the very elegant and bitter story of the last Don Quixotes of cinema. »
Winner: Special Prize of the Jury – International Competition (Suhaib Gasmelbari)
« Sometimes the failures are so great that hope has to grow. Times when’talking about trees is almost a crime because it implies silence about so many horrors!' »
* Nominee: Golden Tulip – International Competition (Suhaib Gasmelbari)

2019 | Millennium Docs Against Gravity
* Nominee: Grand Prix Bank Millenium Award (Suhaib Gasmelbari)

2019 | Berlin International Film Festival
* Winner: Glasshütte Original Documentary Award (Suhaib Gasmelbari)
* Winner: Panorama Audience Award – Documentary Film (Suhaib Gasmelbari)