Archive of films Sixteen / Sixteen

United Kingdom
2013, 80 min

Section: Forum of Independents - Competition
Year: 2014

Now nearly 16, Jumah was once a Congolese child soldier, but aid worker Laura adopted him and now they live together in London. The past he tried to leave behind rears its ugly head after he witnesses a tragic death. With understanding and a lack of sentimentality, the director of this subtle debut succeeds in plumbing the turbulent inner depths of an adolescent boy.


Before being adopted by an aid worker named Laura, 16-year-old Jumah used to be a Congolese child soldier. Now they live together in multicultural London; Jumah is a good student and has just begun a relationship with schoolmate Chloe. But everything changes in an instant when he and a friend witness the murder of an old man. Jumah is once again exposed to intense psychological and physical pressure, and he is forced to react. Demonstrating understanding and a lack of sentimentality, the director succeeds in plumbing the turbulent inner depths of a teenage boy determined to conquer the demons of his past and create a new life in a foreign land. The character of young Jumah is played by Roger Jean Nsengiyumva, who turns in a spare yet highly focused and convincing performance. This sincere, realistically shot, and subtle debut with a clear message, in which the camera is virtually always within point-blank range of lead character Jumah, will screen at the Karlovy Vary festival as an international premiere.

About the director

Rob Brown

Rob Brown (United Kingdom), director and screenwriter, graduated from film school in Bournemouth. His short movies have screened at the Edinburgh IFF and on BBC TV. In 2008 Brown was selected to participate in the Think Shoot Distribute program at the 2008 London Film Festival. The short film Silent Things had its premiere at the 40th Rotterdam IFF, where it received a prize. The script for Brown’s first feature film, Sixteen, was chosen for a performed reading at the BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum during the Edinburgh IFF in 2011. The movie itself went on screen at last year’s film festival in London. The director’s shorts include: Family Portrait (2005), Dermo Sluchaetsa (2007), Open Skies (2007), Echoes (2009), Silent Things (2010), Paper Hearts (2011).

About the film

Color, DCP
International premiere

Section: Forum of Independents - Competition
Director: Rob Brown
Screenplay: Rob Brown
Dir. of Photography: Justin Brown
Music: John Bowen
Editor: Barry Moen
Producer: Jake Hume, Nicholas Jeune
Production: Seize Films
Cast: Roger Jean Nsengiyumva, Rachael Stirling, Rosie Day, Fady Elsayed, Sam Spruell


Rob Brown

Film Director

Nic Jeune



© 2024 FILM SERVIS FESTIVAL KARLOVY VARY, a.s. [email protected] +420 221 411 011 All contacts

AccommodationsAccommodations Festival Pass, tickets, reservationsFestival Pass, tickets
HistoryHistory ContactsContacts
Archive of filmsArchive of films KVIFF TalksKVIFF Talks
Industry Days Programme 2021Industry Days Programme KVIFF Eastern PromisesKVIFF Eastern Promises
VideogalleryVideogallery PhotogalleryPhotogallery
ContactsContacts Posters of the 57th KV IFFPosters of the 57th KV IFF
HistoryHistory Festival GuideFestival Guide