M E R H A W I

In 2012, at the Tour of Rwanda, we met a precociously talented 18 year old cyclist who dominated the early stages of Africa's biggest cycle race.

Since then we have been following Merhawi Kudus' progress as he transitioned his success onto the global stage by completing the Tour de France as a 21 year old.

So we were fortunate to head to Merhawi's home in Asmara, Eritrea, to capture his story first hand.

  • James Walsh
    Director
    (en)snared, Come Walk With Me, An Epic Tale, Baisikeli, Planet Ocean
  • James Walsh
    Writer
    (en)snared, Come Walk With Me, An Epic Tale, Baisikeli, Planet Ocean
  • James Walsh
    Producer
    (en)snared, Come Walk With Me, An Epic Tale, Baisikeli, Planet Ocean
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 55 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 14, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    South Africa
  • Country of Filming:
    Eritrea
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
Director Biography - James Walsh

James Walsh is founder and director of Sinamatella Productions, an African-focused, Cape Town-based visual storytelling company. Over the past ten years, we've developed a track record of taking documentary films from a seed of an idea through to big and small screens.

His films have won awards on four continents, played in festivals from Istanbul to Vancouver and have been broadcast by CBC in Canada; SBS in Australia; VRT, Setanta, BBC and Sky in Europe, MultiChoice in Africa and NBC Universal in the US.

Sinamatella has worked with partners such as Barclays, Singita, Nederburg, The Body Shop, Wildife ACT Fund, Dimension Data, Woolworths, Anderson Expeditions, SuperSport, Cricket South Africa, Return Africa, Stellenbosch University and Angama Mara to bring interesting stories to life.

We have been fortunate enough to film in Ethiopia, Kenya, Eritrea, Tanzania, Rwanda, Mozambique, Chad, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe and across South Africa.

James has participated in:
*2011 Banff Adventure Filmmakers Workshop
*2014 Hot Doc Dealmakers Forum
*2014 Berlinale Talents Campus Durban
*2014 & 2016 Durban Film Marts
*2016 Lisbon Docs Film Market & Finance Forum

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Director Statement

There are so many fantastic, dynamic, complex, beautiful stories on our continent. Unfortunately there are not always the platforms and funders to help us tell these stories. So I'm incredibly grateful to the team that made this project happen despite the lack of resources.

A big shout-out to: the cinematographer, Andrew King; our edit team - Hope & Jaco from Stitch Post; our sound magician, Tim at Origin Audio; Kyle and Peta at Refinery for making the colours sing; and the team at Mama Dance for the music, Craig and Dale. Yekeniyeley!