An award-winning Beninese filmmaker, recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and Prince Claus award, committed, for the past 25 years, to produce not only artistically compelling, but also socially relevant work that tells the stories of people underrepresented in mainstream productions. Idrissou’s filmography includes works such as his early narrative shorts, “Fugace” (1996), “Fake Soldiers (1999), pioneers in showcasing Black German life, as well as his documentary features, “Si-Gueriki, The Queen Mother” (2002), “Arlit, The Second Paris” (2005), “Indochina Traces of a Mother” (2011) and “America Street” (2019).
Mora-Kpai’s films have been screened world-wide at numerous prestigious festivals, such as Berlin, Rotterdam, Vienna, Milano, Busan, Marseille, Sheffield. His works have garnered many international accolades, including the Best Documentary Award, TV5 Award; 20th Namur International Festival of French- Speaking Film Festival, Namur, Belgium; Best Documentary Award, 15th African, Asian and Latin American Film Festival, Milan, Italia.
He has served as a visiting artist at Cornell University, a visiting professor at Duke University and the University of Pittsburgh and currently teaches Film Production at Ithaca College.
During his time at The Africa Institute, Mora-Kpai plans to work on two projects. He wants to pursue his work on a feature-length documentary “Border Life,” a creative documentary on Seme, the bustling border town between Nigeria and Benin, a place deeply intertwined with the lives of peddlers, smugglers, and travelers, thereby revealing a window into the localization of global economic exchanges. He also wants to work on the revision of his script for “Corporal Ganda,” a feature drama that tells the story of African colonial soldiers during the Indochina war. He is excited to use this opportunity to expand his professional network and search for potential collaborators and funding sources in the region.