Elien Spillebeen

Elien Spillebeen is a Belgian journalist and documentary filmmaker.

Elien Spillebeen studied International Politics in Ghent and Aix-en-Provence and during her master's degree she specialised in developments in the third world. In 2008, as part of her thesis, Elien went to East Congo for the first time for field research. On her own initiative, she returned in 2011, 2012 and early 2013 to spend more time with the women of the region. This not only yielded the footage for this documentary, but also led to the founding of the organization 'Mama Kivu'. With this organisation Elien wants to support the initiatives of the women in Butembo.


Elien Spillebeen
DR Congo

Supported projects

The invisible Olympians

  • Sport
  • Equality

KABUL, KINSHASHA, JUBA - No Olympics this summer. But Elien did seek and feel the Olympic spirit: in Afghan women's football, wheelchair basketball in South Sudan and with nzozo players in Congo. These champions wouldn't have made it to the Olympics anyway, but the Olympic spirit is clearly present.

Backup Butembo

  • Armed conflict
  • Equality
  • Journalism & Media
  • Human Rights

DR CONGO - This special documentary tells the story of exceptionally strong women in eastern Congo. The region has been the scene of a bloody conflict for over 15 years. Positive resistance is growing in the city of Butembo. The population is trying to regain control over its fate and life. When the violence in and around Butembo increases, the inhabitants are not watching from the sidelines. Sometimes they literally run into danger.