Awa O Gbé, an African Adventure was presented in Official Selection at :
  • 8th International Pan African Film Festival of Cannes
    April 16, 2011, Cannes, France
  • 27th International Film Festival Vues d'Afrique
    May 6, 2011, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • 10e Festival International du Film de Ouidah
    January 10, 2012 in Cotonou and in Ouidah, Benin

Was presented out of competition at:

  • 7th Montreal International Black Film Festival
    September 27, 2011 at NFB cinema, Montreal, Quebec
  • SOAPIFF - Southern Appalachian International Film Festival
    October 27, 2011, in Tennesse, USA
  • 2012 Women's International Film & Arts Festival
    from March 28-April 1, 2012, in Miami, USA

Canal D 
Was broadcasted in french on March 6, 2011


AWA O GBÉ, an African Adventure is a documentary film filled with vivid colours and music. The ochre of the earth, the women's multicoloured boubous, the sounds of vocal and instrumental music. It follows René Dupéré and Élise Velle on their African adventure. René Dupéré, musical creator for Cirque du Soleil, and his partner Élise Velle, solo singer and interpreter of Cirque du Soleil's music, have been involved with a humanitarian aid project in Benin for the past 7 years. René and Élise initiated, financed and continue to supervise this project. Twice every year, they go to Porto Novo, the capital city of Benin, to see how activities are proceeding, check the project's pulse and evaluate its needs.

"We want to share our accomplishments in the hope that others can repeat our experience: people like ourselves, who enjoy good health and plentiful resources and, motivated by human solidarity, want to do something to right the injustices of the world."
     - René Dupéré

"We are idealistic philanthropists, artists. I see the results. They are tangible, and this gives me great joy."
     - Elise Velle

Thanks to trust earned over the years, this film provides a privileged opportunity to penetrate to the heart of neighbourhoods, clans and communities, sharing in the intimacy of families and women's lives. It proposes unique content, plus rarely seen images, sounds, voices, and the vibrant colours of life and humanity. But this is not a fairy tale. They encountered plenty of stumbling blocks, and more are sure to come. It is their great sensitivity; openness and especially, their desire to act and to invest time and energy that have made this project a success story.

René Dupéré is nationally and internationally reknowned as a major instrumental composer. As Cirque du Soleil's official composer, he has written the unforgettable scores for the shows Nouvelle expérience, Le cirque réinventé, Saltimbanco, Mystère, Ka and Alegria. He was one of the composers for music marking the return of Hong Kong to China, and composed the score for the 1997 world tour of the ballet Holiday on Ice. He has also composed sound tracks for several films and television series. Université Laval awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2005.

Productions téridan inc.
Danielle Thériault, producer
4845, Draper Ave.
Montreal (Quebec) H3X 3P6
Tel.: 514 817-4957

For helping Porto Novo
Women's Group, please contact

Mme Sylvie Labelle
Director Women's
of Porto Novo project
1716, rue de la Visitation
Montreal (Quebec) H2L 3C1
Tel.: 514 526-9420