Brutally forced out of Madagascar by a military coup d'état, now exiled in South Africa, Madagascar’s democratically elected president, Marc Ravalomanana, gathers a team of advisors to help solve the political crisis in his country.
The exiled president is determined, peacefully, to win back his homeland and office from coup leader Andry Rajoelina,
who, illegally, is in control of the country, while much of the population is left to starve.
The president turns to the international community to help mediate a diplomatic solution,
but finds himself navigating a political minefield.
There are many forces at play who are implacably opposed to his return and not interested in reinstating democracy in Madagascar – not least French interests, and the former colonial power seems to actively support the coup regime,
making President Ravalomanana a virtual prisoner in South Africa for 5 years. He makes two legal attempts to return to Madagascar – both of which are blocked by the coup leader.
With unique access to the president and his confidential meetings with his advisors and to the international negotiations, ‘Return of a President’ is the story of history in the making - told from Mr Ravalomanana’s point of view - as he struggles to go home and reinstate democracy in Madagascar.
‘Return of a President’ is almost a Shakespearian tragedy. It’s a riveting, intimate portrait and, like Shakespeare’s Lear, it shows a man who is more sinned against than sinning.
BIO ON DIRECTOR, LOTTE MIK-MEYER
Danish filmmaker, Lotte Mik-Meyer holds an MA in International Development Studies and Media Studies from Roskilde University Center and the University of Copenhagen, with studies at the University of Durham and Jussieux Paris VII.
For the past 15 years she has worked as a documentary director and as a teacher in documentary and television in Denmark, Europe, Vietnam, the Middle East and the United States. Previously, she has been the director of the Program Quality Project on DR TV.
Lotte has many years’ experience filming alone in conflict areas like Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Madagascar.
Her film 'The Arab Initiative' was about the difficult art of diplomacy during the 'drawing crisis', shown at a number of Middle Eastern film festivals, and shortlisted for the Danish DOX Award, in the International Competition, Docudays, at the Beirut International Film Festival and in addition On TV 2.
Return of a President - After the coup in Madagascar (2017)
Feature Documentary, 78 min.
Arab Initiative (2008)
Feature Documentary, 58 min.
What We See (2006)
Documentary, 58 min.
Educational tutorials, 90 min.
Tolerance and Participation (2006)
Educational film, 25 min.
A Meeting and a Kiss (2005)
Short documentary, 28 min.
BIO ON PRODUCER, LISE LENSE-MØLLER
Lise Lense-Møller founded Magic Hour Films in 1984 and has since produced and co-produced a host of films - both documentary, feature films and short fiction. She is engaged in professional education at international level,
as an expert and group leader for EAVE since 1993.
Magic Hour Films focuses on high-profile, creative documentary and art-house fiction with international potential.
Its work includes films such as The Oscar-nominated Burma VJ - about the monk resurrection in Burma by Anders Østergaard, which has received 52 international awards including: the Joris Ivens Award, CPH:DOX 2008; Robert and Bodil 2009, Cinema for Peace International Human Rights Film Award, Berlin; Vaclav Havel Award; Peabody Award; Grierson Award; and PUMA Impact Award.
In addition, Into Eternity by Michael Madsen, a film about the world's first permanent nuclear waste stock has received the Grand Prix, Nyon, IDFA Green Screen Award; the Nordic Panorama Grand Prix; and 15 other prizes. It has been distributed in cinemas in the UK, USA, Japan, France, Spain, Holland and Scandinavia.
Recent titles include:
1989 – A Stateman opens up - on the Iron Curtain's fall and Europe's reunification by Anders Østergaard and Erszébet Ràcz (2014); The Visit – An alien Encounter by Michael Madsen - on space research and the meeting with the unknown (2015);
Mona Lisa Story (as co-producer) by Jessica Nesselbladt - A History of overcoming drug addiction and winning life and love (2016); and Tutti a Casa - Power to the People? - by Lise Birk Pedersen about the Italian protest party, Movimento Cinque Stelle, populism and the difficult art of democracy (2017). Click here to see more about Magic Hour Films.
BIO ON PRODUCER, HELLE ULSTEEN
Helle Ulsteen established Kamoli Films in 2007, where she developed a solid network and produced many arthouse films in international artistic collaborations. She was a member of European production networks such as EAVE and ACE.
International award winning films, included:
Lisandro Alonso's Argentine Jauja (2014) with Viggo Mortensen and Ghita Nørby;
Helle Toft Jensen's Moussa Diallo Man and Music (2015);
Jon Bang Carlsens In Love's Name (2013);
Pernilla August's Swedish Beyond (2011);
Anne Gyrithe Bonnes Aung San Suu Kyi - Lady of No Fear (2010);
Arto Halonen Finnish Shadow of the Holy Book (2007); and
Simone Aaberg Kærn and Magnus Bejmar's Smiling in a Warzone (2006).
Ulsteen also produced a series of films related to Dogme and Lars von Trier.
Originally the producer of the film, she collaborated with Lise Lense-Møller, Magic Hour Films, on several projects, and assigned the project to Lise, when unfortunately she had to withdraw due to the illness.
Sadly, she died in July 2016.
Director and Cinematographer:
Feature version editors:
Signe Rebekka Kaufmann
Short version editors:
Mik Stampe Fogh
Bobby Salomon Hess
Henrik Ruben Genz
Nanna Frank Møller
Editors during development:
Mikael K. Ebbesen
Mik Stampe Fogh
Graphical design: Silke Brandes and Mogens Barslund
Post Production Facility: Edithouse
Online: Jakob Schaumburg
Colorist: Rune Felix Holm and Tobias Grundahl
Assisting producer: Mille Haynes
Post Production: Kristoffer Barslund
Production accounts: Korthe Barfod
Audio Post Production Facility: CosmoTone
Sound Assistant: Jakob Strandgaard Davidsen
E-news channel ZA / eNCA
Screenocean / Thomson Reuters Media
Guy Rivo Randrianarisoa
The director wishes to thank:
The Ravalomanana Family
The Rabenifara Family
With special thanks to:
Olivier Andrianarisoa, Hanitra Razafimanantsoa, Roland Ravatomanga, Benjamin Andriamihanta, Mamy Rakotoarivelo, Manandafy Rakotonirina, Ihanta Randriamandranto, Hubert Rakotoarivony, Jean Pierre Razafy, Birte Thorsen
and all other people who generously welcomed me in Madagascar and South Africa and helped create this film.
In loving memory of
Produced by Kamoli Films, Magic Hour Films & MikMeyer Film
With support from:
Danish Film Institute, Film Commissioners Klara Grunning-Harris and Cecilia Lidin
Financed in collaboration with DR, commissioning editor, Mette Hoffmann Meyer and CosmoTone
Kamoli Films, Magic Hour Films & MikMeyer Film