The Orchestra

The „Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste“ has been in existence for fifteen years. Initially a few dozen music-loving amateurs shared the few instruments they had at their disposal. Rehearsals were organised in shifts so that everyone could have a turn. Today there are over two hundred musicians on the platform when the “OSK” gives a concert.

Most of them are still self-taught amateurs. Even for those fortunate enough to have trained for a profession and found a halfway regular job, everyday life in the metropolis of Kinshasa with its eight million citizens is a constant struggle for survival. For many the working day begins at six in the morning, frequently a great deal earlier for the ones who cannot afford to share a taxi and have to walk miles to get to their workplaces. Despite this they attend the rehearsals that go on until well into the night, practically every day. A staggering example of discipline and enthusiasm.

In the meantime some of the orchestra’s repair artists have a whole collection of self-devised and self-built tools that they need to mend instruments. Their methods are as unorthodox as they are effective. Other members of the orchestra make their concert attire themselves, procure the sheet music required and make sure that the children are fed and looked after during the long evening rehearsals.

Armand Diangienda is the founder and conductor of the OSK. He is the grandson of Simon Kimbangu, a martyr greatly revered in the Congo for opposing the Belgian colonists and establishing his own church: the Kimbanguists. Armand plays the cello and is also a composer: “Music often helps me to think straight and plan my life,” he says. “And even though the rehearsals are often uphill work with little immediately appreciable progress, making music together is a compensation for lots of problems.”

The instrument maker Christian Adam at his last travel to the OSK:




First broadcasting of Kinshasa Symphony at WDR (West German Television) on 7. August 2012, 22h30

Winner of a golden HUGO at the 48th Chigago TV Festival Hugo Awards.

Kinshasa Symphony
is nominated in the category „Information & Culture/Special“ for the German TV Grimme-Award 2012.

Winners of International "Gold Panda" Awards for Documentary at the "11th Sichuan TV Festival": Kinshasa Symphony receives GRAND PRIZE and prize for BEST DIRECTOR!

Finally! .. the instruments that had been collected for the orchestra since the theatrical release in Germany have finally arrived in Kinshasa! A big thanks to all the donors! Pictures here

AWARD NEWS: Best Arts in Film Documetary - Feature International @ Santa Rosa Int. Film Festival!

screening at the opening ceremony of the "German Film Week" in Bujumbura, Burundi @ 7pm (19h) - with Martin Baer and Pascal Capitolin!

Theatrical release in France! ! !

The children of an elementary school in Berlin-Steglitz, "Grundschule am Insulaner", have collected 600€ to support the music school project of the orchestra!

Best Documentary
at the 11th Image et Vie Film Festival in Dakar, Sénégal!

Theatrical release in Austria on May, 20th!

... and another Audience Award! This time in Pessac/France at Palmarés-Du Festival de cinéma jeune public-Les Toiles Filantes!

Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature at the RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem, USA!

Kinshasa Symphony wins two awards at the 25th Bolzano Film Festival:"Best Documentary" and Audience Award!

Kinshasa Symphony has won two more awards! The World Gold Medal at the New York Festival in the category documentaries as well as the Award for the Best Artistic Achievement from the city of Potsdam.

Twitter News from RiverRun Film Festival:
"Met a woman who drove up from Atlanta (530 km distance) with her daughter just to watch "Kinshasa Symphony" today!"

Theatrical release in France in September!

Beautiful segment about Kinshasa Symphony on NYC's classical music station WQXR.

Armand Diangienda will be attending 2 festivals in the US in April: The AFF in NY and RiverRun Int. Film Festival in Winston-Salem!!!

Kinshasa Symphony has won the Jury Award at the 2011 Salem Film Fest!

Kinshasa Symphony is nominated for the GERMAN FILM AWARD 2011!

Kinshasa Symphony is preselected for the German film award Lola.

Theatrical release in Belgium January 2011!

CMJ Music&Film Festival, New York, announces Kinshasa Symphony as "Best Documentary" in the Audience Poll!

WDR musicians back from Kinshasa! Trip and work with the Orchestra a huge success!

Closing Film at the European Film Festival in Göttingen/Germany. Sold out again!

Two sold out screenings at the EthnoFilmFest in Munich and apparently a record in visitors and positive feedback!

Screening at Free Zone Festival in Belgrade: "The screening was really great. Our audience loved the film. I can say that Kinshasa Symphony was one of the hit films at Free zone."

November 2010: Theatrical Release in Switzerland!

"Special Jury Mention" for creative dramatic illustration of the survival topic at "Flahertiana" Film Festival in Perm, Russia!

"VIFF Most Popular Nonfiction Film Award" in Vancouver!

Kinshasa Symphony is the Audience Favourite at the "10th Festival des Deutschen Films" in Buenos Aires!

Our first need at betterplace.org has been completed. Thanks to everyone for the donations and support!

Great cinema release! Kinshasa Symphony in 6th place at this week's Arthouse-Movie-Charts!

"Kinshasa Symphony...the best musical documentary since Rhythm is it!" - Deutschlandradio

Theatrical Release in Germany

Now donations for the orchestra possible at betterplace.org!

"Kinshasa Symphony" is nominated for the Erasmus EuroMedia Awards 2010.

The 6th Jecheon International Music & Film Festival presents the Grand Prize to "Kinshasa Symphony" from the International Competition section, "World Music Film Today".

Rhode Island Int. Film Festival 2010:
Grand Prize "Best Cinematography"
goes to "Kinshasa Symphony"
The 2010 Flickers: Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) announced the winners in this year’s film competition at its annual Awards Ceremony in downtown Providence, RI. The festival ran August 10th-15th and showcased over 200 cinematic works, including 35 World and 23 US/North American Premieres. The films were selected from a record entry base of over 4200 international submissions.

Filmmusik verbindet die Festivals in aller Welt: bei den Oberaudorfer Musikfilmtagen spielt die Jugendblaskapelle Filmmusikklassiker - zur Eroeffnung des Jecheon International Music & Film Festivals in Korea gibt es ebenfalls Filmmusik, diesmal gespielt auf koreanischen Saiteninstrumenten.
Beide Festivals sind noch jung. Beide sind ausgesprochen gastfreundlich und wunderbar musikorientiert. Fantastisch, dass beide Kinshasa Symphony zeigen! In Bayern mit deutschen Untertiteln, in Jecheon mit koreanischen.

Kinshasa Symphony erhält eine "Lobende Erwähnung" beim Phoenix-Dokumentarfilmpreis 2010. >>>

Pascal Capitolin stellt Kinshasa Symphony beim Durban International Film Festival vor: "Die erste Vorstellung fand vor vierhundert Schülern statt, die danach vor allem fragten, wieso Schwarze klassische Musik statt Rap oder ähnlichem spielen. Der Film kam sehr gut bei ihnen an - und gelacht wurde an ganz anderen Stellen als in Europa. In Südafrika haben schon erstaunlich viele Menschen von "Kinshasa Symphony" gehört."

Kinshasa Symphony hat seine Premiere im Kongo.
Der Film läuft "open air" am 20.7., dann als Gala-Vorstellung für das gesamte Orchester am 21. Juli im "Hotel Venus" und am 22. Juli im "Centre Culturel Wallonie-Bruxelles" fileadmin/user_upload/pdfs/PM_Filmvorfuehrung_in_Kinshasa.pdf>>>

Kinshasa Symphony erhält den Publikumspreis beim „Festival des Deutschen Films“ >>>

Special Mention: Kinshasa Symphony "The jury was very enthusiastic about the portrayal of the creative musicians in Congo."

Kinshasa Symphony opens the prestigious "Visions du Réel" festival in Nyon (Switzerland) on 15 April 2010 

8.3.2010 World premier of Kinshasa Symphony a complete success: two showings completely sold out, keen interest from the audience

Kinshasa Symphony selected for Berlinale 2010
The film “Kinshasa Symphony” celebrates its world premiere at “Berlinale Special” on February 17th 2010, 21:45h (rerun February 18th, 18:00h, Cubix 8)

The team is back in Berlin and the postproduction has started already.

The second phase of filming in
Kinshasa has begun. Fortunately, the rains have held off. Rehearsals, outside shots, short musician portraits and a new protagonist: a tubist with his own pharmacy. And: the cameraman still has both his shoes.

sounding images GmbH has succeeded in bringing the Kinshasa Symphony project to the attention of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. The orchestra gave the filming team a crate with collected instruments for L’Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste. A long-term partnership is planned between the two orchestras. An instrument maker is also to travel to
Kinshasa to offer support and advice locally.

sounding images has succeeded in securing the patronage of the German Commission for UNESCO for the Kinshasa Symphony project. This makes us very proud.

The first leg of the filming is over. With the exception of one of the cameraman’s shoes that got lost on the flight back, the team and their equipment have returned unscathed…

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