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Talibés. Slave children in West Africa

"Talibés" are West African children aged between 4 and 14 years old who have been given by their parents -usually farmers without resources- to Koranic school teachers, who enslave and force them to beg on the streets.

  • Marc Vila Serra
  • Marc Vila Serra
  • Àlex Estebanell
  • Shariff Yaya Kane
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Talibés. Infants esclaus a l'Àfrica Occidental
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Human Rights, Children, Justice, social, Africa
  • Runtime:
    43 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 18, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Helsinki African Film Festival
    May 13, 2017
  • Festival Internacional de Cine y Televisión Reino de León
    May 7, 2017
  • Festival Internacional de Cinema de la Cerdanya
    July 5, 2017
  • Budha Internacional Film Festival
    June 10, 2017
  • Barcelona Planet Film Festival
    April 1, 2017
  • Los Angeles Cine Fest

    April 10, 2017
  • The Best Film Fest

    United States
    April 14, 2017
  • Slemani International Film Festival
    October 3, 2017
  • Abuja International Film Festival
  • International Festival Of Red Cross And Health Films
    October 13, 2017
  • Afghanistan International Human Rights Film Festival
    October 1, 2017
Director Biography - Marc Vila Serra

Marc Vila Serra is a catalan filmmaker. He was born in Olot (Girona) on 1980. He graduated from UOC
(Open University of Catalonia) and studied in the Multimedia and Audiovisual School ERAM of Girona. Marc
creates in various mediums- documentary films, short films and video. He also works in the audiovisual
department of Bombers de la Generalitat (Catalan fire-fighters).



• “Sota l'ombra del desert” (2007), about the Sahrawi refugee camps near Tindouf (Algeria).
• “Memòries de l'aiguat d'Olot de 1940” (2010), about the floods that hit the region of Garrotxa in October 1940.

Short Films:

• “Manilla d'oros” (2009)
• “Maleït el dia” (2010)
• “Biel Dalmau” (2011)
• “La recompensa” (2011)
• “(El) correu (2012)
• Llamp me mau (2013)
• Anna Manel·la. Retrat d’una mirada (2014)
• Les campanes. Patrimoni oblidat. (2017)

◆ 2n Premi al millor curtmetratge al Festival de Curtmetratges WEVOO amb “Manilla d'Oros” (2009).
◆ 2n Premi al millor curtmetratge al Festival de Curtmetratges WEVOO amb “Maleït el dia” (2010).
◆ 1r Premi al millor curtmetratge al Festival de Curtmetratges WEVOO amb “La recompensa” (2011).
◆ Premi del públic al Festival de Curtmetratges WEVOO amb “La recompensa” (2011).
◆ Accèssit al Festival de Curtmetratges WEVOO amb “(El) correu” (2012).

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Director Statement

“One who doesn’t understand at a glance, will not understand a long explanation either”. (Arab proverb)

If someone does not believe that the eyes are the mirror of the soul, he may travel to Senegal, or any country in West Africa with talibé children through the streets, and when a child approaches them begging, instead of turning his back on, he may notice his eyes.

It would be strange he would not see the reflection of the soul, I assure you, but also a reflection of the humiliations suffered, the feeling of abandonment, the diseases they suffer, the infected sites that host them and, above all, the incomprehension towards this unjust and unequal world.

At the same time, though, and maybe that is what personally affects me more, those same eyes also emanate the innocence of childhood, the desire to feel loved and being a child. It is for this reason that the talibé problem is so serious; it affects the neediest group of the society.

According to Human Rights Watch talibés children are in a technical situation of slavery. Their rights as children, with the tacit consent of the society and the authorities, are constantly violated. “Talibés. Slave children in West Africa” denounces the plight of these children and explains the causes of the situation. This was the main objective of the Talibés Foundation: with our limited resources we managed to make a quality documentary to work on awareness of the problem.

As you will see, the film does not leave anybody indifferent; the eyes of a child can never remain indifferent.

Marc Vila Serra