Cinema of Madagascar

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Former cinemas in Antananarivo

The Cinema of Madagascar refers to the film industry in Madagascar.

The most notable director is Raymond Rajaonarivelo, director of movies such as Quand Les Etoiles Rencontrent La Mer (When the Stars Meet the Sea) and Tabataba (The Spreading of Rumors).[1]

The oldest cinematographic production entirely produced in Madagascar by a Malagasy is a 22 minutes black and white movie entitled “Rasalama Martiora” (Rasalama, the Martyr). Directed in 1937 by the deacon Philippe Raberojo, it marked the centenary of the death of the Protestant martyr. Philippe Raberojo was the president of an association of French Citizens of Malagasy Origin, where he had access to a 9,5mm camera. Thus he was able to realise his film. Unfortunately the complete version is lost.[2]

In the following years Madagascar was crisis-shaken by several political overthrows. In 1960 Madagascar gained back its independence, but still suffers from political instability. This complicated post-colonial period not only led to the close down or transformation of the countries cinemas into places of religious warship. Also almost the whole film industry was razed to the ground. Till today still there is no public cinema in Madagascar.

The film industry started to recover slowly around the year 2006 also due to the founding of Rencontres du Film Court Madagascar (RFC). Till today the RFC is Madagascars only one Film Festival.

Most of the Malagasy productions don’t get public funding; however nowadays around 60 short films and 1 or 2 feature films are made each year.[2]

In the Malagasy language, the word “cinema” is translated “Sarimihetsika” which literally means “moving image”.[2]


Year Title Director Genre Notes
1973 L'accident Benoît Ramampy Short drama Won best short film (FESPACO, 1973)
1974 Very Remby Solo Randrasana Drama Won Jean Soutter Award (Festival de Dinard, France, 1974)
1980 Fitampoha
1984 Dahalo, Dahalo Benoît Ramampy Drama
1987 Ilo Tsy Very Ignace Solo Randrasana Drama Depicts the 1947 Malagasy Uprising
1989 Le Prix de la paix Abel Rakotozanany and Benoît Ramampy Short drama Shown at the African Film Festival in Montreal in 1988
1988 Tabataba Raymond Rajaonarivelo Drama Depicts the 1947 Malagasy Uprising, selected for 1988 Cannes Film Festival, Won Jury award at the Taormina Festival (1989), won first feature award at the Carthage Festival (1989)
1989 Angano... Angano... nouvelles de Madagascar Marie-Clémence Paes, Cesar Paes Documentary

Won awards at the Festival dei Popoli, Cinéma du Réel, and Vues d’Afrique

1996 Quand les étoiles rencontrent la mer Raymond Rajaonarivelo Drama Depicts the Malagasy liberation struggle, won best film at the Istanbul Film Festival (1998)
2001 Makibefo Alexander Abela Drama Based on William Shakespeare's Macbeth
2004 Souli Alexander Abela Drama Based on William Shakespeare's Othello
2004 Sur les murs de la ville Fabrice Maminirina Razafindralambo Short animation the first Malagasy animation short film in official competition at Annecy animation film festival 2004
2005 Mahaleo Marie-Clémence Paes and Raymond Rajaonarivelo Documentary Traces the history of Mahaleo, Madagascar's most popular band, won Best documentary (Regards sur le cinema du Sud, Rouen, 2006), won Public Award and second place (Festival du film insulaire de Groix, 2005)
2006 the sun rises...then sets Jiva Eric Razafindralambo Short animation Won Best Film at the Rencontres du Film Court Madagascar 2006
2007 Raketa mena Hery A. Rasolo Documentary Won an award at the Ciné Sud de Cozès
2007 Tafasiry Toky Randriamahazosoa Short Won Best Film at the Rencontres du Film Court Madagascar 2007
2010 Varavarankely Sitraka Randriamahaly Short Won the Best Animation Film at Rencontres du Film Court in 2010
2011 Dzaomalaza et le saphir bleu Andriamanisa Radoniaina and Mamihasina Raminosoa
2012 Malagasy Mankany Haminiaina Ratovoarivony Comedy-adventure Won Diaspora Award (Hollywood Black Film Festival 2013, USA), won Youth Jury Award (Cinémas d'Afrique 2013, France), won Audience Award (Festival Cine Africano Cordoba 2013, Spain), won Africa Connexion Award (Vues d'Afrique film Festival 2014, Canada), won Best feature film and best actress (Iarivo film festival 2014, Madagascar), Jury special mention (Kouribga 2013, Morocco)
2012 La photographie David Randriamanana Short Won second place (Fespaco, Ouagadougou 2013)
2013 Madame Esther Luck Razanajaona Short Won second prize (Carthage, Tunisia 2014), won second place (Fespaco, Ouagadougou 2015)
2015 Les panthères de l'île rouge Marie Camille Road-movie Official Selection at the Festival International du Film Panafricain de Cannes in 2015
2014 Ady gasy Lova Nantenaina Documentaire Prix Fétnèt Ocean Indien (Fifai, La Réunion), Grand prix Eden domcumentaire (Lumières d'Afrique, Besançon), Mention spéciale du Jury documentaire (Festival Quintessence, Bénin)
2014 Odyaina Laza Documentary Shows the relationship between music and mental illness, through the work of some malagasy music therapist.
2015 Fasa Laza Short We observe Fasa as she is coping with the loss of her father.
Fara Raymond Rajaonarivelo Not yet released


  1. ^ Heale, Jay; Latif, Zawiah Abdul (2008). Madagascar. Marshall Cavendish. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-7614-3036-0. 
  2. ^ a b c Kolosary Cinéma Malagasy - Madagascar en 11 Films. Madagascar: Institut Français, Ile de France. 2016.