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World Documentary Competition

North American Premiere

Netherlands | 80 MINUTES | English, Swahili |


Mysticism and color reign in this stunning documentary, steeped in the fishermen lore of Kenya. Dutch filmmaker Jeroen van Velzen explores his visceral memories of an early youth spent in coastal Kenya, where a reverence for the sea reigns high. Via the locals' enigmatic recitation of a well known folktale, we are introduced to a spirit-filled island, to which a fisherman's visit has the magic to alternately bless or curse his bounty.

Enter Masoud, a legend of shark fishing, a man who proudly wears his scars and knotted bones as proof of decades spent battling underwater foes. His glory days long gone, Masoud and his stoic grandson take to the seas, the elder fisherman unhappily relegated to the role of castigating mentor, battering his protégée with nagging critique. As he tries to close out his days on the water with one final, spectacular capture, Masoud spins grandiose stories told with swaggering pride and heartbreaking nostalgia. Still, just as you start to question Masoud's hold on reality, he confirms his stature with a display of astonishing skill and an intrinsic, almost religious mastery of his craft. An Old Man and the Sea story brought to vivid life, Wavumba enchants with its poignant protagonist and magnificent visuals.

2012 Best New Documentary Director Award Winner – Jeroen van Velzen. Click here for additional screenings.


Co-hosted by:




Directed by Jeroen van Velzen and Jeroen van Velzen

Jeroen van Velzen was born in the Netherlands and lived in Kenya, India, and South Africa. After high school in England he studied documentary directing at the Netherlands Film and Television Academy, where he made the short film Baba. Wavumba is his first feature doc.
Robil Rahantoeknam
Jeroen van Velzen, Sara Kee
Digna Sinke
Sound Design
Boon & Booy
Stefan Kamp
Jeroen Schmohl
Jeroen van Velzen
Primary Cast
Mohammed Masoud Muyongo, Juma Lonya Mwapitu
Director of Photography
Lennart Verstegen


Print Origin
Remco Hoddenbach
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Digna Sinke
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