Rising up at night

A film by

DR Congo, Belgium, Germany, Burkina Faso, Qatar / 95' / 02/2024 / documentary

Kinshasa and its inhabitants are in darkness. They wait and struggle to get access to light. Between hope, disappointment and religious faith, Tongo Saa is a subtle and fragmented portrait of a population that, despite the challenges, is sublimated by the beauty of Kinshasa's nights.

Square Eyes - 74_IFB_Panorama_bw
Square Eyes - 74_IFB_Panorama_bw

Nelson Makengo


Nelson Makengo is a filmmaker whose work oscillates between contemporary art and film. His latest film Up at Night (Best Short IDFA 2019) has screened at over 100 festivals worldwide and has been nominated by the BFI as one of the 350 best films of 2020. E’ville (2018) won the Sharjah Art Foundation Award at the Videobrasil Biennale in 2019. In recent years, Nelson Makengo has collaborated as a director with Al Jazeera and Meta, has been a jury member of several festivals and is a Sundance Documentary Film Institute and Doha Film Institute Fellow. Tongo Saa (Rising up at night) is his first feature documentary.


• Rising up at night (2024) – feature
• Up at Night (2019) – short documentary
• E’ville (2018) – short documentary
• Tabu (2016), short documentary
• Souvenir d’un été (2017), short documentary
• Théâtre Urbain (Urban Theater) (2017), short documentary

Square Eyes -


Director: Nelson Makengo
Screenplay: Nelson Makengo
Producer: Rosa Spaliviero, Dada Kahindo Siku
Production companies: Twenty Nine Studio & Production, Mutotu Productions
Film Five: Florian Schewe
Diam Production: Michel K. Zongo
Auguste Orts: Marie Logie, Catherine Plenevaux
Magellan Films: Samuel Feller
RTBF: Isabelle Christiaens
Florian Schewe, Michel K. Zongo, Marie Logie, Samuel Feller, Isabelle Christiaens
Image: Nelson Makengo
Sound Design: Franck Moka
Sound Recording: Moimi Wezam
Sound Editing: Laszlo Umbreit
Sound Mix: Rémi Gerard
Editor: Inneke Van Waeyenberghe
Color: Miléna Trivier
Composer: Bao Sissoko, Wouter Vandenabeele


  • Berlinale, Germany (15 – 25 February, 2024)


Press materials

EPK: Click here

Stills, poster & directors photos: Click here

Dialogue list (not yet available): Click here

Teaser: Click here

Excerpts and teaser: Click here

Press quotes

Coming soon