With a mesmerizing cinematography and great empathy, Panay brings us to the world of Opio, a 13 years old boy ready to do what it takes to be able to attend school. Opio works on the grounds of the Perkoa Gold Mine in Burkina Faso. His only pay each month is a bag of rocks, which he hopes may contain traces of gold. Shot with a stunning cinematic flair, Simon Panay’s exceptional documentary is a tale of dogged determination even in the face of danger.
“It is a familiar and sad story, beautifully shot by Simon Panay who does a fine immersive job at embedding with the youngsters at the mine and coming up with chilling footage that shows just how scary it is for these young miners.” BUSINESS DOC EUROPE
Visioni Dal Mondo, Italy, Best International Feature Documentary Special Mention – 2022
DokFest Munich, Germany, Nominated for the VIKTOR DOK.horizonte – 2022
At 27, Simon Panay has already directed four short documentaries in West Africa. In 2014 he received the ARP Young Talent of the Year Award and in 2018 the Jean-Luc Lagardère Foundation Documentary Grant. His latest short film, “Ici, Personne ne Meurt”, shot in an illegal mine in Benin, has been screened in 71 countries and has won 133 festival awards. For his first feature film, he further explores the world of gold mining with If You Are A Man.