‘Bantú Mama,’ A Contemporary Tale in the Dominican Republic

Bantú Mama Dominican Film BeLatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of IMDb.

Dominican director and producer Iván Herrera’s new project is another step forward in his career. After winning the Judge’s Choice Awards at the 2016 TIFFxInstagram Shorts Festival with his short film “La Pasión Original,” Herrera now delights us with his new project, “Bantú Mama.”

A contemporary story about the proverbial encounter between Africa and the Caribbean, the film is set to make its world premiere at SXSW, becoming the first Dominican film to be selected for the conference.

“Bantú Mama” follows a French woman of African descent who manages to escape after being arrested in the Dominican Republic. She finds shelter in the most dangerous district of Santo Domingo, where a group of children takes her in. By becoming their protégée and maternal figure, “she will see her destiny change inexorably,” the synopsis reads.

In a press release, Herrera said the point of the story is to “tell a contemporary tale with characters descendants of the African diaspora and show a different kind of re-encounter between the Caribbean and the Motherland.”

The movie is produced by Point Barre, an independent Dominican film production company. Although it is their first feature film, the production took place in Dominican Republic, France, and Senegal. “Bantú Mama”’s leading cast includes French actress Clarisse Albrecht and young aspiring actors Scarlet Reyes, Euris Javiel, and Arturo Perez. 

The SXSW Conference will run from Tuesday, March 16, 2021, to Saturday, March 20, 2021. The festival aims to explore and expose new tendencies and ideas in film, culture, music, and technology. The schedule also includes keynote speakers, session formats, and more.

This year’s edition will welcome big names like Stacey Abrams, Desus Nice, and The Kid Mero.