Mambar Pierrette

Mambar Pierrette

Rosine Mbakam

OmeU, dt. UT
Audience Award

It’s the rainy season and the new school year is about to begin. From dawn ’til dusk, Mambar Pierette sews school uniforms and exquisite dresses for special occasions in her tiny shop in a slum of Douala (Cameroon). Mambar is not just a seamstress, she is also a trusted confidante to her customers. She knows all about money and romantic troubles, family matters and the problems of emigrating and returning home. But she also has plenty of worries of her own: flooding in her home and shop, an absent husband, an ailing mother, three children who need school supplies, and there’s never enough money. She has to overcome setbacks and disasters time and time again. She endures her situation with stoic calm, and refuses to put up with patriarchal oppression. Her hard-earned independence and the sense of community in her neighbourhood give her strength.

Drawing on her acclaimed documentary Chez jolie coiffure (2018) about the African diaspora in a hairdressing salon in Brussels, Rosine Mbakam has produced her feature film debut Mambar Pierrette with the same documentary patience and a cast of largely non-professional actors. The fictionalised experiences of her charismatic protagonist – played by Mbakam’s cousin Pierrette Aboheu and filmed by Fiona Braillon – sensitively and empathetically reflect the arduous everyday life in Cameroon.

Guest: Rosine Mbakam

In cooperation with the Afrika Film Festival Köln

Content note

Director / Script

Rosine Mbakam


Fiona Braillon


Geoffroy Cernaix


Loic Villiot, Roger Mboupda


Pierrette Aboheu, Karelle Kenmogne, Cécile Tchana, Fabrice Ndjeuthat


Tândor Productions


Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, RTBF Belgian Television, Tândor Films – Cameroon, TV5MONDE, Fonds Image de la Francophonie, Coopération belge au développement, Centre de l’Audiovisuel à Bruxelles


The Party Film Sales

Rosine Mbakam

Born in Cameroon, Rosine Mbakam came to film at an early age via the Italian NGO COE. She worked as an editor, director and presenter for STV in Douala. She graduated from the Belgian film school INSAS with her award-winning short fiction film Tu seras mon allie. In 2014, she founded Tândor Productions in Belgium with Geoffroy Cernaix. Her first feature-length documentary, Les deux visages d’une femme Bamiléké, screened at over 60 festivals. She founded the production company Tândor Films in Cameroon in 2018, also launching Caravane Cinéma for the distribution of African films in Cameroon. In 2021, she co-directed Prisme about filming black skin. The New Yorker described her as one of the most important documentary film-makers of our time.

Films by Rosine Mbakam (selection)
Prisme 2021 | Les prières de Delphine 2021 | La majorité invisible 2020 | Chez jolie coiffure 2018 | Les deux visages d’une femme Bamiléké  2017 | Tu seras mon allie 2012