Private Project

TANTARA SAKALAVA - Fomba, Fady and Fanampoambe

Moandjee, a young Sakalava prince searching for the traces of his ancestors, takes us on a journey to historic places in North-West Madagascar. We sail to the mysterious island of Nosy Antsoheribory, travel on a ferry on Betsiboka River and walk through the mud between the ricefields to a Doany on a sacred mountain where electric appliances are “fady” – taboo.

We follow him to a Doany near Mahajanga, where the tradition-keepers of his Bemazava tribe are strictly obeying the “fomba” and “fady” – the traditional dos and don’ts. We listen to the sound of Jaovita’s self-made valiha, the traditional Malagasy music instrument, and of the drums, kabosy and hand-clapping at the “Tsimandrimandry” - the “night without sleep” under the full moon.

This night precedes the most important feast of the Sakalava, the Fanampoambe in July. They come from all regions of Madagascar to celebrate the bath of the relics of Andriamisara, the founder of the great Sakalava kingdom and to assist the Tromba cult. The celebration culminates with the Rebika dance and ends with singing and dancing.

The documentary closes with the 10 principles of the spiritual world of the Sakalava as described by Robert Jaovelo-Dzao in his book “Mythes, rites et trances à Madagascar”.

  • Elfi Littmann-Kaba
    Filmography available
  • Elfi Littmann-Kaba
    Filmography available
  • Elfi Littmann-Kaba
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    50 hours 40 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 25, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Mini DV + HDV
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • no screening yet
Distribution Information
  • no distributor yet
Director Biography - Elfi Littmann-Kaba

* 2019 Move from Nicaragua back to Mahajanga, Madagascar; now retired: finished editing of TANTARA SAKALAVA; various private environmental projects
* 2015 Move from Mahajanga to Leon, Nicaragua and foundation of PAN Films - Producciones Audiovisuales Nicaragua; production of several short films on environmental, social and touristic topics; editing of TANTARA SAKALAVA
* 2005-2008 Camera shootings for TANTARA SAKALAVA (about 24 hours of footage), but no time for editing due to paid commands
* 2004 Emigration to Mahajanga, Madagascar and foundation of MADASOLEIL SARL - Solar Technology and Video Production, production of more than 30 multilingual documentaries (Malagasy, French, German, English), educational videos and music clips for international projects; special topics: environment, health)
* 1993-2003 Freelancer in Hamburg (Demo Artist at international Broadcast fairs, trainer for video editing and post production, technical translation, vocational training for video editors and media designers)
* 1988-1993 Technical Trainer and Product Manager for Professional Video Editing and Post Production Systems at Broadcast Division at SONY GmbH Cologne
* 1988 Assistant of the Marketing Director, Consumer Division at SONY Gmbh Cologne
* 1980-1987 Translator at Technical Training Dept. of SONY Germany GmbH Cologne
* 1973-1980 Technical Translator at Bundessprachenamt Huerth
* 1974 Certification as a technical translator for English and French
* 1973 Graduation as a translator for French and English at ADI Germersheim/Germany

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Director Statement

You only lose, when you give up.