Yves' Promise

  • Melanie Gärtner
  • Germany
  • 2017
  • 79 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for First Appearance
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Cameroonian Yves Matouo has spent eight years searching for a better life in Europe. Filmmaker Melanie Gaertner first met him in Spain after he arrived by rubber boat seeking asylum. He was rejected and sent back. A year later, he calls Gaertner again. She films him on a Moroccan beach where he wants to make another attempt. He explains what drove him to leave his country and those people dear to his heart. Gaertner realizes that while he knows what awaits him, he’s still willing to risk it all again. To better understand his motives, she travels to Cameroon to meet Yves’ family and best friend and brings video messages from Yves to reestablish contact. These are emotional moments filled with mixed feelings. They understand that Yves wants to escape the poverty and corruption, but still very much want to see him again. But can Yves return without having achieved success? Meanwhile, Gaertner keeps meeting up with him to see how things are going.


  • 79 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: French, German
  • Subtitles in: English
Melanie Gärtner
Sebastian Popp for Stoked Film, Robert Malzahn for Stoked Film
Pola Sell, Melanie Gärtner
Christine Niehoff, Mirja Gerle
Roger Mboupda, Romeo Zaf
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IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for First Appearance

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IDFA history