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// Presented as part of Filmatique's Contemporary Black Cinema Series // 

Exclusive Interview with Rob Brown

Spotlight on Sixteen



Rob Brown / UK, 2013 / BAMcinĂ©matek New Voices in Black Cinema, BFI London, Karlovy Vary / 80'


Sixteen-year-old Jumah lives with his adoptive mother in west London where he struggles with typical issues of a boy his age: authority, his temper, rules.  Yet everything changes one night when, out exploring the city with a new friend, Jumah witnesses a stabbing.  This incident opens scars from Jumah's former life in the Congo as a child soldier, reawakening the burden of his past as well as the anxiety of his future.


Filmed with naturalism and restraint, Sixteen explores the trauma of a reality too many children in Africa have faced.  Respected short filmmaker Rob Brown's first feature film premiered at BFI London and Karlovy Vary and won Best Film from the Royal Television Society, UK.



"A Congolese teenager who may or may not have been a child soldier confronts his traumatic past— and present moral dilemmas... [Rob Brown] shows laudable restraint with dialogue that refrains from filling in every gap, gliding, unfussy camerawork, and a sparse, understated score"

- Leslie Felperin, Film ReviewThe Guardian