World Cinema Documentary ~ Special Jury Award, Verite Filmmaking
Sundance Film Festival
Grand Jury Prize ~ World Cinema: Documentary
Sundance Film Festival
A thrilling, enraging film, and its intimate extraordinary.



When dictator Robert Mugabe was removed from power in a military coup, the generals promised they would not seize control for themselves but would ensure democracy in a national election. Against a backdrop of economic crisis, food shortages, and political violence, the stakes could not be higher.

Working to defeat the ruling party, which has controlled Zimbabwe since independence, is the young and charismatic Nelson Chamisa, who draws comparisons to a young Nelson Mandela in expressing the country’s utmost desire to be “governed” and not “ruled.” After decades of a corrupt elite clinging to power using any tool available—legal or not—can a free, fair, and credible election be truly possible?

As the follow-up to her widely acclaimed 2014 documentary DEMOCRATS, Camilla Nielsson brings viewers into the heart of the struggle for power with stunningly close access and unhesitating courage, in a nation closely monitored by the entire world. PRESIDENT is a riveting and epic reminder that, while individuals and their specific ideals may differ, the fight for democracy is never-ending and of profound significance everywhere.

"The way this film confronts the fragility of democracy and the ever-looming possibility of violence hit home for this American viewer in a way that was both harrowing and humbling." ~ A.O. Scott, New York Times

"Riveting. Nielsson’s galvanizing, epic-scale docu-thriller...rather like Frederick Wiseman, Nielsson has a knack for excavating savage drama from administrative process and politesse...filmed with astonishing in-the-moment access." ~ Guy Lodge, Variety
Not Rated
Documentary, Democracy, Politics & World Affairs
English, Shona
Camilla Nielsson
Winner, World Cinema Documentary ~ Special Jury Award, Verite Filmmaking, Sundance Film Festival
Nominee, Grand Jury Prize ~ World Cinema: Documentary, Sundance Film Festival

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