Special Preview: President + Director Q&A 2021

Camilla Nielsson / Denmark, U.S.A, Norway / 115 mins / English, Shona / Rating 15

Sorry, this online screening is not available in your country.


Content Warning: This film contains scenes of violence that some may find distressing.

*The film can be viewed within the UK region only. The film is followed by a pre-recorded Q&A with director Camilla Nielsson and journalist Trevor Ncube.

When Robert Mugabe was removed from power by his own party after 38 years of dictatorial rule, Zimbabwe’s military leaders promised they would not seize control for themselves, but would ensure democracy via a national election. Against a backdrop of economic crisis, food shortages, and political violence, the stakes could not be higher. Working to defeat the incumbent Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU–PF), which has controlled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, is the young and charismatic Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance.

The election will be the ultimate test for both sides. How they interpret the principles of democracy, if they can inspire trust among Zimbabwe’s citizenry, not succumb to violence, and foster faith in institutions, will set the course for the future for the country. After decades of corrupt elites using any means necessary to retain power, can a free, fair, and transparent election be truly possible? With this sequel to her widely acclaimed documentary Democrats (2014), which followed the political battle to establish Zimbabwe’s first democratic constitution, director Camilla Nielsson brings viewers into the heart of an epic struggle for power. President is a riveting reminder that, while individuals and specifics may differ, the fight for democracy is of global relevance to all who envision a more just, egalitarian future. President offers powerful witness that it won't happen if we don't fight to create it.

About the director

Camilla Nielsson was a Fulbright Scholar at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University (NYU), and in the Dept. of Anthropology (NYU), where she studied documentary filmmaking and visual anthropology. She directed the documentary short trilogy Good Morning Afghanistan (2003), Durga (2004), and The Children of Darfur (2005), about children’s rights, and Mumbai Disconnected (2009), in the "Cities on Speed" series.

Since 2007, she has collaborated with Israeli video artist Yael Bartana on the trilogy We Will Be Strong in Our Weakness (Berlinale 2011, Venice Biennale 2011), and Demonstrators (2011), for the exhibition 'Re:Constructed Landscapes' (Danish National Gallery / SMK). She was the artistic advisor
for Yael Bartana’s "What if Women Ruled the World" opening at Manchester International Festival in July 2017, and Aarhus Kulturby in November 2017. Camilla Nielsson’s first feature documentary Democrats (2014), has screened at more than 80 film festivals, and won 20 awards and nominations, including Best Documentary at Tribeca Film Festival 2015, and Best Documentary at Nordic Panorama 2015.

About the Host

Trevor Ncube is Chairman of Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) based in Harare Zimbabwe, a company he co-founded 25 years ago. AMH owns four newspaper titles in Zimbabwe namely NewsDay (national daily), Southern Eye (regional daily), The Zimbabwe Independent (business weekly) and The Standard (Sunday). Ncube is also controlling shareholder and chairman of Heart & Soul Broadcasting Services (Hstv). Ncube also runs the YouTube channel In Conversation with Trevor.

For 15 years, 2002 to 2017, Ncube was controlling shareholder, Chief Executive and then Executive Deputy Chairman of the Mail & Guardian Media Group (South Africa), publishers of the weekly Mail & Guardian. M&G Media also owned Mail & Guardian Africa which was headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.

He started in journalism in 1989 at the Financial Gazette as a reporter and rose to deputy editor and then Executive Editor position. He was the founding Editor of the Zimbabwe Independent.

Past Showings

Friday 22nd October 2021 / 7:30pm for 48 hours / Online

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Executive Producers

Thandiwe Newton OBE is an Emmy and BAFTA award-winning actress and two time Golden Globe nominee. With multiple accolades to her name, she has had starring roles in television shows such as BBC's Line of Duty and HBO's Westworld and films such as Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), Mission Impossible 2 (2000) Beloved (1998), Crash (2204) For Colored Girls

Newton is an advocate for PETA and bringing an end to sexual violence. Beyond the screen, Newton contributed to the We Wish: Hopes and Dreams of Cornwall book to support the NSPCC. There, she candidly reminisces about her childhood memories of growing up in the region. With a range of projects in the works, including CIA operative film All the Old Knives and God’s Country, Newton continues to perform in challenging and subversive roles.