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The Kibomango Story

East Coast Premiere

Director: Savva Svet

United States, Congo, 2022, 4 min

Shooting Format:Digital

Festival Year:2023

Category:Documentary Short

Genres:Boxing, Sports

Crew:Producer: Savva Svet. Composer: Carlos Virgilio Mendoza; Colorist: Josh Bohoskey. Editor: Kamila Daurenova & Savva Svet


The incredibly true story of Kibomango, a former child soldier turned Congolese national boxing champion. Now a struggling mechanic, he has devoted himself to helping former child soldiers and street children of Goma through boxing. Kibomango aims to instill in them a sense of discipline, ambition and self-worth.

About the director

Savva is a documentary filmmaker from Brooklyn who is dedicated to creating inspiring, entertaining, and thought-provoking films. Over the past decade, Savva has toured with Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Florence + The Machine, and Lemmy, trailed deep into the jungles of Peru with Werner Herzog, lived with indigenous tribes in Brazil and filmed inside refugee camps in Jordan. His travels and experiences have led him to believe strongly in giving back and empowering communities to take action and make a difference in their world. His clients include Calvin Klein, The WHotel, The Home Depot, Under Armour, and NatGeo.

Website Filmography

Filmmaker's note

When I packed my bags to the Congo, I only took with me my camera and a pair of boxing gloves.

I heard a myth of a one eyed boxer, roaming the streets of Goma and training street kids at an abandoned stadium. All I had was a name…Kibomango.

12-days into Goma with the trip coming to an end, I found myself in the back of a mini van, driven by a man I had just met, in a part of town I was told you don’t want to be seen in. Kibomango climbed into the back seat. We shook hands, and I gave him the gloves. I would be flying back to JFK in 48 hrs. I told him I was sorry I couldn’t film with him, but I promised we’ll meet again…the gloves a token of good faith.

“Tomorrow” he said. “Come to my home, and I’ll drive you to training”

Everyone gets everything they wants. I wanted to film with Kibomango and for my sins, they let me.

I was with him for only 3-hours, and a year and a half later I’ve finally come to terms…you never truly finish a film…you abandon it. And with that, I let go of this labor of love and let it live on its own.

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