Congo Rising Welcomes You
Preparing for the future by powering the imagination through accessible education and film, Congo Rising is a 501c3 corporation.
What we are Doing
Building the Cinema Industry
Establishing power sources to facilitate internet access and file exportation
Employing the RACHEL (Remote Area Community Hotspot for Education and Learning) and Raspberry Pi to extend educational opportunities to the most vulnerable
In a few years, we want the DR-Congo to be regarded as a center of excellent film rather than a center of violence.
We work with pioneering filmmakers in the DR-Congo to restore cinema to the country. (It was lost thirty years ago.)
Beyond that, we film lectures and demonstrations which can be shown throughout the country (via RACHEL) to introduce educational programs even in the most rural areas.
Bimpa Production started with four people in Kinshasa. They began making short films and producing each other's work. Soon, they established a film festival. (In 2020, it had its 7th edition.)
For years, they met weekly according to the schedule of when electricity would be available to power their laptops and phones. Things have improved greatly, but we aim to make power accessible, reliable and expandable.
Meetings were once scheduled according to the availability of electricity.
Today, Bimpa is ready.
Expanding the Film Industry
We have recently expanded the film initiative to Mbuji Mayi, Mwene Ditu, and Lubumbashi (all in the Kasai region), where we have found remarkable self-trained filmmakers.
In the Kasai area of the DRC, there is an unusual number of people with Albinism. We will be addressing this for instructional and employment purposes in forthcoming films.
Showing the RACHEL in Lodja
Powered by batteries, the RACHEL is a self-contained library accessible to computers and mobile devices within fifty feet. No electricity is required to power it once it's charged
Accessing African Storybooks on the RACHEL
The students read a story in their own language, Otetela, uploaded from the African Storybooks collection.
Film as Instruction
In this project, we film lectures and laboratory experiments to supplement in-person education. Entire medical schools are now on-line.
The symbol of the current state of the university
With the medical program cancelled, students have had to leave their families in Lodja to continue studies elsewhere or simply lose their years of study and choose a different career.
The government requires a laboratory/clinic for all pre-med programs at universities. Conditions at the general hospital (which serves the poor) are terrible.
Quality, Award-winning films and expert filmmaking
Heart of Africa won several significant awards, including three grand prizes in film festivals.
Heart of Africa
Heart of Africa 2: Companions
Heart of Africa
Called a "cultural revolution" in Kinshasa, this film signaled the return of cinema to the DR-Congo with its 2020 premiere. Though slowed by COVID19, it was the #1 foreign film in the USA when theaters closed.
International screenings and awards
Heart of Africa 2:
Francophone Award for short film "Mbote" by Tshoper Kabambi
Grand prize award from Branson Film Festival (USA), Audience Choice award from LDS Film Festival, USA, and Golden Jury award from Nigeria. (The film also won "Best Foreign Film" in NYC.)
Having successfully released our first two feature films in coordination with Bimpa Productions, we are ready to move up to greater goals.
For the celebration of Patrice Lumumba's 100th birthday in 2025, we plan on releasing a feature film about him filmed in the areas where he actually lived and honoring the languages he spoke.
Meanwhile, we train filmmakers
We will be making a short film within the next month and will begin a feature film titled "Joseph and Simeon" within six months. Everything will be headed by Congolese filmmakers and actors and will be filmed in the Kasai area.
Our foray into agriculture: Farms for growing herbs to create effective creams for those with Albinism.
The Kasai area of the DRC has an unusual number of people with Albinism. They are at risk of various kinds of exploitation, abandonment, and health issues related to the albinism. As we train filmmakers in Kasai, we will do two films about albinism, one a documentary in the language of this area (Tshiluba) and the other a feature.
President of Bimpa Production
Creative Content manager for Congo Rising
Producer and Filmmaker
Producer, Head of FICKIN Film Festival
Consultant, producer for Lumumba project
Native of Onalua and a cousin of Lumumba's. Consultant
Veron Blaise On'Okundji
Priest, poet, playwright, and professor, Abbe Veron is an expert in Tetela.
Bruce and Margaret Young