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Ernest Mannah co-founded the Sierra Leone National Film Workshop (SLNFW) with Ian Noah. SLNFW's aim is to establish a film industry that can meet international standards, in a country where there is virtually nothing of that sort. Thus far the SLNFW has been a shoestring enterprise where enthusiasm and commitment compensates for lack of funding, space and equipment. Its second aim is to support other filmmakers when they come to work in Sierra Leone. It is in this capacity that I met Mannah. His commitment to the film from the very beginning was of vital importance for the project to succeed. His contribution as line producer was unparalleled: translator, negotiator, builder, driver, accountant, scout, camera, light, grip assistant and chef of some very delicious Sierra Leonean dishes.

For more information on the Sierra Leone National Film Workshop (SLNFW):


Rosalie Gerrets completed her undergraduate studies in documentary filmmaking at Ecole Supérieur Libre d'Etude Cinématographique, Paris, France (2005-09) and followed post-graduate courses in directing at Paris 8, La Sorbonne (2010-11). She was co-director with Frédéric Di Méo, Olivier Tixier and Batiste Stehlin of the short film Sans Echo (2007), which received the Ecran D'Argent prize at the Festival Européen des 4 Ecrans. Her assignment for Shado'man began as sound person, however during the production phase she also took on the task of assistant to the director, coordinating and planning the daily shooting schedule.


Thomas 'Chairman' Sesay is a spokesperson for the physically challenged. Candid about neglect one endures in the society in which he lives, he squatted an empty government building in Ecowas Street in 2003, providing shelter for some one-hundred and twenty people. While the conditions there are cramped, it nonetheless brings relief from life on the street. Sesay originally trained as an electrical engineer, but it proved hard for him to find a job in that capacity. His work as organizer and initiator make him a well-known and respected person in the physically challenged community. Therefore, he was of great importance in creating a climate of trust and cooperation. Sesay also features in some of the scenes, such as like the gambling and the drinking scene.

David 'Komba' N'Dapie, PRODUCTION RUNNER

David 'Komba' N'Dapie is from Kono. He is part of the nightly street-life as a vendor selling various things like cigarettes and soap. In the film, Komba works as a production runner, an assistant for light and participated in some of the film scenes. He is not physically challenged himself, but he is involved with the handicapped community helping them in a number of ways. It is something he has done since early childhood, as his mother was blind and he was caring for her. She died, when he was just ten years old and he travelled to Freetown alone looking for an education. His aim was to go to university, however today his biggest dream is to make it somehow to Europe to get an education and to find work.


Pieter Van Huystee, PRODUCER

Pieter van Huystee started his own production company in 1995. Since then he has produced 135 film projects, most of them documentaries, but also feature and short films and single plays – with both renowned Dutch filmmakers like Johan van der Keuken, Heddy Honigmann, Renzo Martens and Boris Gerrets and young talented directors like Sabine Lubbe Bakker and Niels van Koevorden. In 2000, Pieter van Huystee was awarded a Golden Calf, the highest distinction in the Dutch film industry, for his work as a producer.

Van Huystee has been part of several juries all over the world, including IDFA and the Mumbai International Film Festival 2010. Most recently he was asked to join the jury for the Cinekid Festival 2013 in Amsterdam.By combining daring with decisiveness, Pieter van Huystee Film nowadays has become one of the leading Dutch independent production companies, highly esteemed for the quality and wide range of its projects. Moreover, many of its documentaries and features are screened at festivals all over the world and have been awarded many times.

For more information on Pieter van Huystee Film:



Dominique Vieillard is an eminent Paris-based sound designer and mixer. Together with Julien Cloquet, Dominique Dalmasso, Jean Umansky he set-up Archipel productions, which is dedicated to sound post-production. Vieillard has worked in a host of documentaries as well as fiction projects dating back to 1974. Among the directors he has worked with are: Raymond Depardon, Joris Ivens, Gianfranco Rosi, Claire Simon, Jacques Doillon, Alexandre Sokurov, Alexei Jankowski and Abbas Kiarostami.

Ralph van Raat, PIANIST

Pianist and musicologist Ralph van Raat studied the piano with Prof. Ton Hartsuiker and Prof. Willem Brons at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and Musicology at the University of Amsterdam. In 2002, Van Raat was admitted to "The Provision for Outstanding Musicians", a special training course offered alongside the regular curriculum. He also concluded his musicology studies with the mention "Cum Laude" in 2003. As a part of the Advanced Programme of the Conservatory of Amsterdam, Van Raat also studied with Claude Helffer in Paris, with Ursula Oppens at Chicago's Northwestern University, with Liisa Pohjola in Finland and with Pierre-Laurent Aimard at the Musikhochschule in Cologne. Van Raat has been distinguished with many international awards, among them: First Prize of the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition (1999); the Philip Morris Arts Award (2003); the Elisabeth Everts Prize (2005); the International Borletti-Buitoni Fellowship (2005); VSCD Classical Music Prize (2005); and the Fortis MeesPierson Award of the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam (2006). For Shado'man, van Raat reinterpreted Otte's Book of Sounds Parts I, II, IV, VI, VIII, IX and X.