Bologna, Cinema Odeon - Monday, March 20th, 9.30 AM
Bologna, Cinema Europa – Monday, March 20th, 9.15 AM
MARTHA & NIKI
Director, Screenplay, Production: Tora Mkandawire Mårtens
Cinematography: Erik Vallsten, Niklas Nyberg, Senay Berhe, Tora Mkandawire Mårtens
Music: Kicki Halmos, Per Egland, Red Wood, Kalle Bäccman, Andreas Unge
Editing: Tora Mkandawire Mårtens
Production: Emelie Persson, SVT, Kalle Bäccman Production, Patrik Axén, Stavro Film
International distribution: MAGNETFILM GmbH
Country: Sweden, 2016, 90’
The documentary was presented at Nordic Panorama and IDFA 2015. It earned a mention as “Best Nordic Documentary 2015”.
The documentary Martha & Niki is a cinematic story divided in nine chapters, representing the stages of a real and metaphorical journey of two sensitive and passionate girls: Martha Nabwire and Niki
Tsappos. They both have African origins, but they live in Sweden. Martha was born and raised in Uganda until the age of thirteen; Niki, born in Ethiopia, was very young when she was adopted by a Swedish couple. Both passionate about hip hop dance, they have begun to practice it together to form an artistic duo. A female view by director Tora Mkandawire Martens who gives the audience not only the story of two hip-hop experts and the evolution of their bodies in motion, but, thanks to intensive close-ups and fleeting details, knows how to reveal the unsaid and the turmoil of young women growing up focusing on feelings and introspection. The first part of the documentary witnesses the triumph, in Stockholm, of the two virtuosos of hip hop, working hard to impose their style and their evolutions in mixed competitions, where men and women perform together. In the Swedish capital, for the first time in 2010, a contest of hip hop is organized and the artistic duo of Martha Nabwire and Niki Tsappos earns the favor of a male jury. The two girls, encouraged by this unexpected success, participate in an important competition that takes place in Paris, Juste Debout. Other steps will follow in the initiatory path of Martha and Niki. At some point, the two women must learn to face the journey alone, just to find themselves again in South Africa, more aware and more mature.
Tora Mkandawire Mårtens was born in Stockholm but is now based in South Africa working as a director and a producer. Tora directed and produced the short film Tommy in Cuba, which was competing for a Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 2008. Her first feature documentary Colombianos has been awarded in many international film festivals.