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Black and white image of a young man sitting at a table smiling and showing a family photo to the camera.
© Chetna Vora/Lars Barthel/Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen der DDR 1980
  • Director

    Chetna Vora

  • German Democratic Republic / 1980
    47 min. / Original version with English subtitles

  • Original language


OYOYO by Chetna Vora, a film student from India, is the first film she made at the Academy for Film and Television in Babelsberg, whereby she decided to film her social surroundings. In this rare, singular profile, students from Chile, Guinea-Bissau, Mongolia, Cuba and Bulgaria talk about student life in the GDR, what informed their decision to study there and the challenges that came with it. The entire film is shot inside the hall of residence and offers intimate, candid conversations around love, aspirations and dreams of their future in an organic way between the director and her protagonists. Vora’s incredibly precise camerawork and ability to capture the students’ problems and desires within natural conversations gives the film a true insider perspective and a wonderfully unique quality. These interview scenes alternate with music by Cuban Silvio Rodriguez, Brazilian Nara Leão and songs in Cape Verdean Creole. The original film copy is slightly longer, but unfortunately became damaged in parts over the last decades. The Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF provided a working copy and with the Film Heritage Funding Programme (FFE) will digitalise the original film copy. (Jacqueline Nsiah)

Production Jama Haji Adan. Production company Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen der DDR (Potsdam-Babelsberg, German Democratic Republic). Director Chetna Vora. Cinematography Lars Barthel. Editing Petra Heymann. Sound Volker Werner.

Chetna Vora, born in Gujarat, India in 1958, she studied directing at the Hochschule für Film und Fernsehen Potsdam-Babelsberg from 1976 to 1982. OYOYO was her graduation film. In 1983, she moved back to India together with her partner, filmmaker Lars Barthel, and their daughter Neelesha Barthel. Chetna Vora died in 1987.

Films: 1980: Oyoyo. 1982: Frauen in Berlin (139 min.).

Background about OYOYO

  • Black and white image of a side profile of a young woman. She wears creoles and smiles gently.


    Work in progress: On the planned restoration of OYOYO

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur