Lituka

In Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo live Meschack, a young boy from a financially challenged background. Meschack needs to go to school like other boys, but the DRC schools are not free.

Parents have to afford it to send their kids to school, but Meschack's parents cannot. Thus, he has time to wander in the neighborhood until he meets Papa Cele. The latter teaches him how to make charcoal stoves called Lituka (Lee - Too - Kah) in Lingala. Making the stoves turns out to be Meschack's luck. However, without his parents' permission, who later find out, they force him to stop, but he keeps going to the shop in secret until one day he brings money at home because they had nothing to eat.

After that day, Meschack is free to go about his business without fear of being punished. He can buy himself clothes and sandals, but he longs to play like other boys do, or go to school like those who can afford it. He profoundly wishes to become a mechanic when he grows up.

  • Rodney Kimbangu
    Director
    Lituka, Forever in Motion, Other, Future Shock, Enlightened
  • Rodney Kimbangu
    Writer
    Lituka, Forever in Motion, Future Shock, Enlightened
  • Rodney Kimbangu
    Producer
    Lituka, Forever in Motion, Future Shock, Enlightened
  • Meschack Baloma
    Key Cast
    "Meschack Baloma"
  • Serge Nsuadi
    Key Cast
    "Papa Cele"
  • Dama Diasompa
    Key Cast
    "Dama Diasompa"
  • Gloire Nkanga
    Key Cast
    "Gloire Nkanga"
  • Dieumerci Mawangu
    Key Cast
    "Dieumerci Mawangu"
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 12 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 24, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    4,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Congo, the Democratic Republic of the
  • Country of Filming:
    Congo, the Democratic Republic of the
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Berea College
  • Life Screenings International Short Film Festival
    Clermont, FL
    United States
    October 20, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Newark Short Film Awards
    Newark, NJ
    United States
    October 12, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Filmaka
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    September 26, 2019
    3rd Place
  • Short Film Factory
    Bucharest
    Romania
    January 26, 2020
    Finalist
  • Independent Shorts Awards
    Hollywood, Los Angeles
    United States
    November 30, 2019
    ISA TV Channel
    Winner - Best Microfilm
  • Independent Shorts Awards
    Hollywood, Los Angeles
    United States
    November 30, 2019
    ISA TV Channel
    Winner - Best Documentary Short
  • CKF International Film Festival
    Swindon
    United Kingdom
    October 31, 2019
    Winner - 2nd Best Short Film
  • TMFF - The Monthly Film Festival
    Glasgow
    United Kingdom
    October 31, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Indie Shorts Awards
    Hollywood, Los Angeles
    United States
    November 28, 2019
    Official Selection
  • International Film and Video Festival «Catharsis»
    Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladimir, Voronezh, Novosibirsk, Pskov, Vladivostok
    Russian Federation
    December 6, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Los Angeles CineFest
    Los Angeles
    United States
    January 12, 2020
    Semi-Finalist
  • AltFF Alternative Film Festival
    Toronto
    Canada
    December 9, 2019
    Semi-Finalist
  • Hollywood Art and Movie Awards
    Los Angeles
    United States
    January 23, 2020
    Official Selection
  • The Lift-Off Sessions
    London
    United Kingdom
    April 12, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Deep Focus Film Festival
    Brookly, NY
    United States
    May 2, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Vegas Movie Awards
    Las Vegas
    United States
    June 6, 2020
    Award of Prestige
  • Student Los Angeles Film Awards
    Los Angeles
    United States
    October 31, 2020
    Semi-Finalist
  • New York Istanbul Short Film Festival
    NY
    United States
    January 23, 2021
    Official Selection
  • Oaxaca FilmFest
    Oaxaca
    Mexico
    June 5, 2021
    Official Selection
  • KESARI MOVIE AWARDS (Shorts)

    April 9, 2021
    Awards: Best Student Film, Best Super Short (Less than 5 minutes), Best Student Director
  • Flickers' Rhode Island International Film Festival
    Providence, RI
    United States
    August 9, 2021
    Semi-Finalist
  • Golden Bridge İstanbul Short Film Festival
    Istanbul
    Turkey
    September 26, 2021
    Official selection
Distribution Information
  • Xerb Tv
    Distributor
    Country: United States
    Rights: Internet
Director Biography - Rodney Kimbangu

Rodney Kimbangu is a Congolese Filmmaker. He graduated from Berea College during the pandemic, but has also attended the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles in 2018. Rodney is a life-long learner, driven by a deep desire to make meaningful art. He is now pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Technologies at Virginia Tech.

He has taken Masterclasses in Directing, Filmmaking, Documentary, Photography, Performing, and Acting. Some of his Masterclass instructors have been Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, Spike Lee, Ken Burns, Andrew St. Pierre White, Annie Liebovitz, Raymond Usher, Christina Aguilera, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jordan Brady, to name a few.

He's directed over five student films, among which Other, Future shock, Forever in Motion, Enlightened, and Unfulfilled. He's also directed Lituka, a personal project that followed an entrepreneurial young boy who makes charcoal stoves in the Congo (DRC).

Rodney has always wanted to be a filmmaker. While he had no clue how he'd make it, he learned drawing, sculpting, dance, painting, computer coding, as well as photography to keep his creative mind active.

Dreams and the human condition inspire him; often, he wakes up on portions of scenes that he quickly writes on sticky notes. While looking forward to, one day, working in movies starring Will Smith, Leonardo DiCaprio, Helen Mirren, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hanks, and Tom Cruise, he is now brainstorming his next microfilm.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

When I moved to America from the Congo (DRC) to study Arts and Film, I decided to positively impact the Congo, even though I was far away. One day at my college, while observing other students being ungrateful, blaming others, taking life for granted, and seeing all the negative in other parts of the world, I had a light-bulb moment and I realized that there were people in other places in the world, who had nothing but made the most of what they had.

Images of people going above and beyond to simply make ends meet crossed my mind and I decided to contribute to changing the narrative by telling a story of courage, extreme recycling, and entrepreneurship, stories that very few people hear. With minimal gear and a mission in mind, I traveled to Kinshasa to make this movie, and it was the last time I saw my Mom alive.

While filming these young brilliant entrepreneurs surpassing their difficulties and finding ways to make a living in an unforgiving environment that was familiar, and having been in a situation where my family had material goods one year and lost it all the next, I was reminded of how lucky I was to live in America and to be a filmmaker, and I wondered what my life would have looked like otherwise.

With this student movie, though I did not make it for class credit, my expectations and desires are to inspire people and challenge them to shift from a victim mentality to a responsible and a self-disciplined mindset; my mission is to tell the unusual stories that usually go untold every day.