Teranga – Life in the Waiting Room
Daisy Squires, Lou Marillier, Sophia Seymour
Best Short Documentary
Teranga is an observational short documentary about youth, music and collective trauma. Set in Naples and filmed over two years, it seeks to humanise West-African migrants living in Europe. Haunted by the difficulties of their pasts and dreaming of a future with indefinite leave to remain, two young Gambian asylum seekers escape the boredom and fear of life as a migrant in Matteo Salvini’s Italy by dancing away their trauma in Teranga, an Afrobeats migrant-run nightclub in Naples. Fata wants to become a world famous DJ; Yankuba is an aspiring biochemist. By day, they tirelessly pursue their dreams in corrupt and dank refugee camps in the middle of nowhere, and by night they converge in Teranga, which manifests as a rare safe space where migrants can forget their troubles and find a community. This short-documentary mixes professional and phone footage shot by the directors and the contributors over two years. The film seeks to show asylum seekers as rarely seen before, figuring out how to fill the time as they wait for notice on their documents. Unable to work and with their lives on hold for years, they find ways to keep themselves feeling alive relying on music as a crucial tool for resistance, survival and integration.