Binti means Girl in Swahili, one of the languages spoken in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This is a story of a teenage mom, who lives in a shelter for underprivileged children. While listening to her story I discovered her complicated past.


About Vanessa Ndombe

Vanessa Ndombe is a new filmmaker, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo. She has a Master’s degree in Journalism and Multimedia and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Communication. She is currently studying for an MFA in Filmmaking at Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, California. Her passion started during her last year of university in Congo. She made her first film for her thesis; it was an adaptation of a book to the big screen. She knew from that moment what would be the next step. Her dream is to learn as much as she can directing and editing and, after her graduate studies, to be able to create films in Congo.


Director’s Statement

I want to give voice to those who need to be heard.

My story began 27 years ago in Kiliba, a sugar town in the North Kivu province of Eastern Congo. Because of the Congolese civil war that uprooted so many when I was a child, my family and I moved to the country’s capital, Kinshasa. Back then, my dream was to be a doctor, like my mom and dad. My parents are my first role models and I’ve always wanted to be like them. In high school it became clear to me that I didn’t have to follow in my parent’s footsteps, though. I could decide to write my own story. So, I did.

I’m still dreaming and dreams are what keep me going. Today, I dream of going beyond everything I’ve learned so far. I want to learn from the best, with the best. I want to make movies that tell captivating stories, people’s stories. I want to give a voice to those who need to be heard, through film. I also know that movies are not just a storytelling device. They are a powerful catalyzer of change, knowledge, education, power, and freedom.

As a new filmmaker, I cannot think of a better place to learn about the way to use film to incite change, knowledge, education, power, and freedom in my generation and my own country, than to learn from the best in America, The Land of The Free.

In my country, the Congo, the filmmaking industry is not yet in the spotlight. I want to take on the challenge of bringing real cinema to the Congo. I want to enable millions and to spread love, happiness, and goodwill through movies and storytelling.