Every year, over a hundred of the brightest law students from across Africa gather in a different capital city to compete at the prestigious African Human Rights Moot Competition. Over the course of one week, these young aspirant lawyers act as both prosecution and defence on a fictional human rights case, each hoping to bring the trophy back home. African Moot follows teams from Uganda, Kenya, Egypt and South Africa as they prepare for the annual competition happening in Gaborone, Botswana. This year’s case is centred on the rights of refugees on the continent and each student has to grapple with burning issues around migration facing their own countries. Daniella is the bright and elegant star student from Makerere University in Uganda whom everyone expects to win. Edward, the homosexual son of Ugandan refugees to South Africa, is apprehensive about how he will be received by students from elsewhere in Africa. Kareem from Cairo is a committed Pan-Africanist who also loves to party. Amor hails from a very poor village in Kenya but is determined to make it to the top. At once a human story, political documentary and dramatic competition film, African Moot intimately captures their hopes, conflicts and ever-evolving ideas as they converge for one intense week of debate, bonding and high emotion. Tracking their progress from preparation and preliminary trials towards a dramatic finale, the film delivers not only insight into urgent political questions facing Africa but also shows how committed African youth are trying to shape the future of their continent.
Human rights lawyer turned filmmaker, Shameela Seedat focuses mainly on character-driven stories and has been commissioned to make several documentaries for local and international television, and civil society institutions. Her first independent feature-length documentary Whispering Truth to Power, about the last year in the office of South Africa’s first female Public Protector, won awards from Hot Docs, FESPACO, Luxor African Film Festival, St Paul and Minneapolis FF, Jozi FF and African Studies Association and has shown at over fifty festivals around the world.