EN - Serge Kakudji is a 20-year-old Congolese counter tenor who fell in love with opera as a young boy. He later travelled to Europe to fulfil his dream of becoming an opera singer. But although his artistic ambitions are pure and uncomplicated, the reactions of audiences are divided. Undaunted, he is determined to found a Congolese opera tradition based on African stories that will inspire people to follow their dreams.

NL - Serge Kakudji is een twintigjarige Congolese contratenor die al als kleine jongen op zijn kamer in Lumubashi door audiocassettes gefascineerd raakte door opera. Hij reisde naar Europa, vastbesloten om zijn droom – doorstoten naar de operatop - waar te maken. Hoewel Serges artistieke ambitie heel puur en duidelijk is, zijn de reacties van zijn omgeving en het publiek vaak dubbelzinnig en gecompliceerd. Sommigen respecteren en erkennen zijn artistieke roeping, anderen zien in hem vooral een exotische rariteit en nog anderen vinden zijn Afrikaanse timbre moeilijk passen in onze klassieke opera. Serge wil zich daar niet zomaar aan overgeven, integendeel, hij wil onze Westerse cultuur een spiegel voorhouden en ons confronteren met onze latente principes. Bovendien wil hij met zijn verhaal en ervaringen opgedaan in het westen, opera naar Congo brengen. Samen met zijn landgenoten wil hij op basis van hun eigen verhalen een Congolese operatraditie op poten zetten om mensen te inspireren hun dromen na te jagen...

FR - Serge Kakudji est un jeune contre-ténor congolais d'une vingtaine d'années fasciné par l'opéra depuis sa plus tendre enfance, lorsqu'il écoutait des cassettes audio dans sa chambre à Lubumbashi. Il est parti pour l'Europe, bien décidé à concrétiser son rêve: atteindre les sommets du monde de l'opéra. Bien que Serge nourrisse des ambitions artistiques très pures et très claires, les réactions de son entourage et du public sont souvent ambigües et compliquées. Si certains respectent et reconnaissent sa vocation artistique, d'autres voient surtout en lui une curiosité exotique alors que d'autres encore trouvent que son timbre africain s'accorde difficilement à notre répertoire classique. Serge ne veut pas simplement s'y rendre tel quel, au contraire, il veut tendre un miroir à la culture occidentale et nous confronter à nos principes latents. En outre, avec son histoire et ses expériences vécues en Occident, il veut apporter l'opéra au Congo. Avec ses compatriotes, il veut se servir de leur propre histoire pour créer une tradition d'opéra congolais, afin d'inciter les gens à poursuivre leurs rêves...


Title Rêve Kakudji
Original title Rêve Kakudji
Original language French
Status Completed
Production Majority Flemish
Category Docs
Genre creative documentary
Year 2013
World première / first public presentation 2013-05-09


Photography Thomas Fadeux
Editing Raf Serneels
Sound Pascal Braeckman
Music Serge Kakudji

Technical specs

Running time film 63'
Release format red 4K
Other available formats DCP, HDcam
Aspect ratio 1.1:66
Sound format Dolby
Colour Colour
Available in 2D


Supported by Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), The Belgian Development Cooperation, The Media+ program of the European Union, le centre du cinéma de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles et de Voo
Production partners VRT-Canvas
Tax shelter partners Casa Kafka Pictures


2013: official selection Docville (BE)

2013: official selection FIFF Namur (BE)

2013: official selection IDFA (NL)


SF (Swiss)

IDFA takes handful from Flanders

Documentary projects by Sarah Vanagt, Ibbe Daniëls and Koen Vidal, Sirah Foighel Brutmann and Eitan Efrat, and Hans Op de Beeck have been chosen for various sections at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). Its slate also includes Clemens de Landtsheer’s 1928 documentary With Our Troops on the Yser as part of the special ‘The First War On Screen’. One of the most renowned documentary film fests around the world, IDFA is set for its 26th edition from 20 November-1 December.

Rêve KakudjiSarah Vanagt returns to Amsterdam with Dust Breeding after Vanagt and Vermeire’s The Wave was shown there in 2011. Presented in the regular Music Documentary section is Rêve Kakudji by filmmakers Ibbe Daniëls and Koen Vidal.

Published on Friday 11 October 2013

Voice of the Future

The seed for Ouverture was planted when counter-tenor Serge Kakudji was asked to record the soundtrack for Futur simple, a short film about young people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 'As well as singing we let him dance and gave him a lot of freedom to express himself,' says filmmaker Ibbe Daniëls. The resulting images also found their way into the film. 'He intrigued us.'

Text Ian Mundell     Portrait Bart Dewaele

koen vidal ibbe daniëls © Bart Dewaele'That day was really important,' adds journalist Koen Vidal (next to Ibbe Daniëls on the right © Bart Dewaele), whose book was the inspiration for the short film. 'First of all it was a nice day, with a very good atmosphere. At the same time he had prepared some pieces about children and we heard him singing. And so we started to talk with him.'

Published on Tuesday 14 August 2012

New round of projects receive VAF support

The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) has approved funding for 21 projects: 13 documentaries, two animated shorts, four fiction shorts and two fiction features. The list includes projects such as Ilse Somer’s feature debut High Heels, Low Tide and Berlinale Shorts nominee Philip J. McGoldrick's Subaru, the second part of an intended trilogy. Works from both newcomers and regulars can be found under the supported documentaries.

Set photo of Ilse Somer's Weekend © Luc PeetersTwo documentaries received script support. Caroline Van Gastel can start writing Eye of the Gazelle (Serendipity Films), a film about women looking for a new life after having been victims of violence. Peter Van Goethem is to start working on Cargo Vie (Freshwater Films), a biographical doc about Pascal de Duve, a promising writer and philosopher who died from AIDS at the age of 29.

Published on Tuesday 23 August 2011

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Last edited on 1 July 2014

Short info

Director Ibbe Daniëls, Koen Vidal
Producers Eric Goossens, Frederik Nicolai
Writers Ibbe Daniëls, Koen Vidal

Off World
Eric Goossens, Frederik Nicolai
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