News Brief

You Can Now Stream 'SEMBENE!' For Free on Vimeo For a Limited Time

From June 9 through June 12, stream the award winning documentary, 'SEMBENE!' on Vimeo for free.

DIASPORA—You can stream the award winning documentary, SEMBENE!, for free on Vimeo from June 9 through June 12. The global free stream is part of the project Sembene Across Africa, which is called "the largest community screening in history."


The film celebrates filmmaker Ousmane Sembéne, the "father of African cinema" who spent decades shaping a meaningful, visionary cinema for a newly independent Africa. More than 100 free screenings will be held in 38 African nations, along with other countries in the diaspora. Sembene Across Africa has set the ambitious goal of gifting the story of a real-life African hero to the communities that will most appreciate it.

“Vimeo has long celebrated and welcome stories from voices too often under-celebrated around the world and we’re excited to partner with the Sembene Across Africa in what will hopefully be the largest community screening in history," Peter Gerard, Vimeo’s GM, Entertainment Group, says in a press release. “By releasing the film for free on Vimeo, we can bring this powerful local African narrative about one of the continent’s earliest filmmakers to audiences around the world."’

Sembene Across Africa is motivated by Sembene’s desire—unfulfilled in his lifetime after 50 years of focused work—to return African stories to the African people. His works revisited history from African perspectives, called out corrupt leaders and celebrated what he called "the heroes of the everyday." Sembéne spent 50 years making films and writing books in a tireless and forceful attempt to reorient Africans after generations of colonization. Unfortunately, 10 years after his death, Sembéne—a true hero of cinema and of self-empowerment—remains unknown to most young Africans.

“Sembene Across Africa is designed to inspire anyone working for African progress,” Samba Gadjigo, the co-director of SEMBENE! and Sembéne’s official biographer, says. “Using the new tools of cultural empowerment—digital delivery, social media, grassroots organizing—we hope to share Sembéne’s powerful story across an entire continent, to the large audience that will appreciate SEMBENE! the most.”

Be sure to tune in via this link on Vimeo from June 9 through June 12 and watch the trailer in anticipation below.

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