We’re delighted to announce filmmaker Dieudo Hamadi as the recipient of our 2018 True Vision Award in honor of his advancement of nonfiction filmmaking.

True Vision is the only award given out at the fest. Hamadi is the 15th recipient of this honor. Last year, the award was given to French director Claire Simon. Other winners of the True Vision Award include Laura Poitras (2010), Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel (2013), and Adam Curtis (2015).



In his young yet brilliantly fruitful career, Hamadi has intimately documented the social realities of his home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. In his work, he vividly explores the ways humans respond to systems that are rigged against them, particularly when they decide to face them together. His camera is perpetually attentive to group dynamics and to the extraordinary energy of communal spaces.

True/False will spotlight Hamadi’s newest film, Kinshasa Makambo, premiering this month at the Berlinale, as well as National Diploma (2014) in which determined students band together to pass a high-stakes graduate exam. Kinshasa Makambo is a tense, perceptive documentary that unfolds in the DRC, where courageous young revolutionaries rally to rescue their country from the autocratic grip of President Kabila.


Kinshasa Makambo


Originally a student of medicine, Hamadi made his film debut in 2010 with “Ladies in Waiting,” (co-directed with Divita Wa Lusala). An unsettling portrait of a maternity ward, “Ladies in Waiting” opened the celebrated anthology film Congo In Four Acts. Hamadi then directed several features, including 2013’s Atalaku and 2016’s Mama Colonel, which screened at the Berlinale Forum, where it won the Independent Jury Prize, and Cinéma du Réel, where it won the Grand Prix.

Because of political turmoil in the DRC, the festival will conduct skype Q&As with Hamadi, while Kinshasa Makambo’s producer Quentin Laurent will attend.


The award is presented with support from Restoration Eyecare. The award is designed and cast in bronze by local Mid-Missouri artist Larry Young.