Mancala is often represented in films. Sometimes merely as decoration, often with a deeper, symbolic meaning. Film genres include documentaries, comedies, science-fiction films, and thrillers. The oldest films showing the game were made in the 1910s.
Mancala also made it into TV news in the Ivory Coast, Uganda, the Philippines, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey, and France.
Many other classic board games have also been shown in films, which include Chess, Draughts, Go and their variants. Modern games, such as Camelot, Monopoly, and Mensch ärgere dich nicht, sometimes played a role too. The game known as "Tri-Dimensional Chess", which is shown in many Star Trek episodes, was reconstructed by a fan of the series, Andrew Bartmess, and has then become a popular Chess variant.
"A conspicious symbol for the fatal key note of the film is the image of two men playing a game. A caption explains that they play Chess, however, it is Kalah or a variant thereof."
Olaf Möller about the documentary "In the German Sudan"
List of Film Productions and TV ProgramsEdit
The films are in chronological order starting with the most recent. The tables only include films which were shown at cinemas, film festivals, art expositions or universities, broadcasted by a television channel or sold commercially.
The listings include TV reports (linked to current events), ethnographic films (made by researchers), travel documentaries and creative documentaries.
|Omweso: Omuzannyo ogusanyusa Omutanda||2013||(?)||Bukkede TV||6 Minutes||Uganda||Luganda||Report||About Omweso (video).|
|Mankala (Još uvek budni sa Ivon - May 9, 2013)||2013||(?)||studio B||16.5 Minutes||Serbia||Serbian||Report||About the mancala exhibition of the Belgrade Museum of African Art (video).|
|Uganda: Die Geschichte hinter "Kony 2012"||2012||Arnim Stauth||NDR||7 Minutes||Germany||German||Report||Shows a game of "Bao" (probably Omweso) in progess (video).|
|Durch Kenias wilden Norden - Vom Turkansee bis ans Ende der Welt (weltreisen)||2011||Werner Zappenfeld||Westdeutscher Rundfunk||30 Minutes||Germany||German||Travel Documentary||Several Turkana men playing and watching a mancala game on the shore of Lake Turkana, Kenya.|
|Hafswa Saggaf - Woman Curver in Lamu||2011||Khamis Ramadhan||(?)||9 Minutes||Kenya||English||Report||On a woman artist making wooden frames, Bao boards, and more (video).|
|Lamu Cultural Festival||2011||Khamis Ramadhan||Lamu Cultural Promotion Club / Alliance Française de Nairobi||18.5 Minutes||Kenya||English||Report||The festival includes Bao competitions (video).|
|Malawi - A Country in Southern Africa (Growing Up in Malawi - Episode 1)||2011||(?)||Credit Suisse||14 Minutes||Switzerland||English||Creative Documentary||Shows a game of Bawo in progess (video).|
|Malawi - Wege aus der Armut - mehr Landrechte für Frauen (Rio+20 DW Spezial)||2011||(?)||Deutsche Welle||4 Minutes||Germany||German||Report||Shows a game of Bawo in progess (video).|
|Nguyen Phan Chanh Painting Restoration Project (Dự án phục hồi tranh lụa Nguyễn Phan Chánh)||2011||(?)||Creative Position Core Co.||29 Minutes||Japan||French, Japanese, Vietnamese||Documentary Film||The film, which is about the restoration of silk paintings, shows Chơi Ô ăn quan (video).|
|Koutammakou - Land der Batammariba (Schätze der Welt - Erbe der Menschheit)||2010||Faranak Djajali & Rüdiger Lorenz||SWR||15 Minutes||Germany||German||Documentary Film||Villagers play a single-lap mancala game in the evening hours.|
|L'auale (Tot un Món)||2010||Bernat Casanova & Charles Solà||La Factoria d'Imatges||5 Minutes||Spain||Catalan||Documentary Film||A short film about Oware, which was shown on the Catalan TV Channel TV3 (film).|
|Linda Hoffman & Blase Provitola - Mancala (ART IN THE PARK)||2010||(?)||WCCA TV 13||17 Minutes||USA||English||Report||About an artwork (video).|
|Mangala (Gümüş Hilal)||2010||(?)||TRT Türk||3 Minutes||Turkey||Turkish||Report||About Mangala (video9.|
|Mangala (Panorama)||2010||(?)||TRT Arabic||12 Minutes||Turkey||Arabic||Report||Discussing Mangala (video).|
|Mangala (Tarİh Dergİsİ - Episode of January 24, 2010)||2010||(?)||TRT 2||4 Minutes||Turkey||Turkish||Documentary Film||Showing Mancala (video).|
|Nizwa, dans le sillage de Henry de Monfreid||2010 (filmed in 2008)||Vincent Dumesnil||Alif Productions||52 Minutes||France||French (English)||Travel Documentary||Men playing mancala on a beach in Djibouti.|
|Cabo Verde Inside||2009||Alexander Schnoor||[Independent]||36 Minutes||Germany||German & Portuguese (English)||Creative Documentary Film||A Cabo Verdian who was born and raised in Germany is searching his roots. When he visits Cabo Verde for the first time in his life, he finds men in the streets of Mindelo playing Ouri (video).|
|Fish for Life (Africa: The Business of Food)||2009||Kristin Sellefyan||Dev.TV||3 Minutes||Switzerland||English||Short Documentary Film||Malawian children play a 4x8 mancala game with holes dug into the ground (video).|
|Making of... Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak||2009||Budiey Isma||Metrowealth MIC||15 Minutes||Malaysia||Malay||Advertising / Documentary||About the horror film Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak (video).|
|Quark Park||2009||Chris Allen||Chris Allen Films||70 Minutes||USA||English||Creative Documentary||Among other artwork it shows how a mancala table was created by scientist George Scherer and sculptor Kate Graves (video excerpt; trailer).|
|Edge of Islam (Life on the Edge)||2008||Steve Bradshaw||BBC World News||22 Minutes||UK||English||Documentary Film||Short Bao scene on Lamu Island (video)|
|The Language of the Universe (The Story of Maths - Episode 1)||2008||Marcus du Sautoy||BBC & Open University||58 Minutes||UK||English||Documentary Film||Professor du Sautoy claims that the ancient Egyptians might have approximated the mathematical constant π by playing the game of mancala. His theory is, however, flawed because there is no hint that mancala was already known in Ancient Egypt. Contrary to what is said mancala boards were never found carved on the roofs of Egyptian temples.|
|Beyond Bloomsbury (The Museum - Season 1, Episode 10)||2007||Chris Rushton and Anthony Holland||BBC Wales||30 Minutes||UK||English||Documentary Film||Irving Finkel visits his touring exhibition in Leicester where the famous Lewis Chessmen are on display next to Ludo, Mancala and Monopoly (video).|
|Le Cap-Vert (Carnets de voyage - Season 1, Episode 7)||2007||Philippe Crnogorac||ARTE GEIE & GEDEON Programmes||26 Minutes||France||French||Travel Documentary||Two men playing Ouri outdoors on the island of Santiago (video).|
|Twins of Mankala||2006||Jason DaSilva||In Face Films||11 Minutes||USA||English & Kikuyu||Creative Documentary Film / Short Film||Kid culture and socialization in Kenya and the USA (preview).|
|SheWrite||2005||Anjali Monteiro and K.P. Jayasankar||Indian Documentary Producers Association||55 Minutes||India||Tamil||Creative Documentary Film||Filmed poetry - in a scene a mother is playing "Pallanguzhi" with her daughter.|
|Origine of Cape Verdean Nationality||2003||Ike Eric Nweke||Quintal Video||25 Minutes||Portugal||English & Creole||Documentary Film||Short Ouril scene (excerpt).|
|Up in Smoke||2002||Martin Otanez and Christopher Walker||Television Trust for the Environment||27 Minutes||UK||English||Documentary Film||Short scene of Malawian village children playing mancala on a wooden board (video).|
|Spiele der Völker - Afrika||2000||(?)||(?)||(?)||Germany||German||Documentary Film||Bao La Kiswahili is shown being played in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania; aired on October 22, 2000 by BR-alpha (source 1 and source 2)|
|Grand Cayman (Origins, Show #116)||1999||Burt Wolf||Kentucky Educational Television (KET)||(?)||USA||English||Documentary Film||Exploring the cultural traditions of Grand Cayman including Waurie.|
|The Games We Play (Caribbean Eye #11)||1999||Tony Hall, Christopher Laird, Bruce Paddington||Banyan Limited||26 minutes||Trinidad and Tobago||English||Documentary Film||A Unesco/Banyan Project showing Draughts in Barbados, Dominoes in Dominica, All Fours in Trinidad, and Warri on Antigua.|
|Océan Atlantique||1998||Pierre-Antoine Muraccioli||Warner Home Video||65 Minutes||France||French (English, German)||Travel Documentary||Two men playing Ouril in Mindelo, Cabo Verde.|
|The Swahili Coast (Wonders of the African World - Episode 2)||1998||Nicola Coltan and Nick Godwin||BBC / PBS||53 Minutes||UK||English||Documentary Film||In Lamu (Kenya), Henry Louis Gates, Jr., plays Bao with his guide Abbas from Shanga.|
|Kapverdische Inseln (ontour)||1997||Uli Hagmann||Helikon Film München / Bayerischer Rundfunk||47 Minutes||Germany||German||Travel Documentary||Two men playing Ouri in the streets of a Cabo Verdian town.|
|Milavalava and Chingelengele||1987||Gerhard Kubik, Lidiya Malamusi, Moya Aliya Malamusi||Ethnologisches Museum Berlin||5 Minutes||Germany||English and Luchazi||Documentary Film||About childhood activities of the Luchazi in the village of Chikenge (Kabompo District), Zambia; children are playing the mancala game of Milavalava.|
|Ethiopia||1985||Robin Lehman||(?)||28 Minutes||USA||English||Documentary Film||Showing a tribal mancala game.|
|Sur les traces du renard pâle (Recherches en pays Dogon, 1931-1983)||1983||Luc de Heusch||Centre de l'audio-visuel à Bruxelles||48 Minutes||Belgium||French||Documentary Film||Children playing the game of Ein in holes dug in the ground (video).|
|Kenya Boran (Part I)||1974||David MacDougall and James Blue||Norman Miller||33 Minutes||USA||English||Documentary Film||Boran men playing a mancala game on a wooden two-row board (preview).|
|Baga (Westafrika, Guineaküste) - Mankalla-Spiel||1960||Horst Luz and Waldemar Herz||IWF (Göttingen)||11 Minutes||Germany||Silent||Documentary Film||Baga children playing Kuoless in Guinea.|
|Latuko||1952 (filmed in 1950)||Edgar Monsanto Queeny||American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)||56 Minutes||USA||English (German, Spanish)||Documentary Film||Scene with men playing Ekonda in South Sudan.|
|In den Kakao-Plantagen der Goldküste||1951 (filmed in 1950)||Albert Kolb||Cadbury Brothers Ltd. (Bournville)||12 Minutes||UK||Silent||Documentary Film||Scene with Ashanti workers playing Oware in the cacao plantations of the Gold Coast.|
|A Mamprusi Village||1944||John Page||Ministry of Information||19 Minutes||UK||English||Documentary Film||Short scene with children playing a mancala game in the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast; the "board" was dug in the ground (video).|
|Spiel, Orakel und kultischer Tanz aus Nigerien||1942 (filmed in 1937-1938)||Paula Melzian||Forschungsinstitut für Völkerkunde (Leipzig)||5.5 Minutes||Germany||Silent||Documentary Film||Scene with two Yoruba men playing a mancala game.|
|A Typical Day in the Life of a Kwanyama Family||1937||Diana and Antoinette Powell-Cotton||Powell-Cotton Museum at Quex Park||25.5 Minutes||UK||Silent||Documentary Film||Children playing Owela near the town of Ondjiva in Southern Angola. The pits are dug into the ground (excerpt).|
|Jungen- und Männerspiele||1936 (filmed in 1928-1929)||Paul Germann||Forschungsinstitut für Völkerkunde (Leipzig)||3.5 Minutes||Germany||Silent||Documentary Film||Two boys playing a mancala game in Gbande, Northern Liberia.|
|Ata Kiwan ("Menschen der Berge") im Solor-Alor- Archipel (Ostindonesien)||1928-1929||Ernst Vatter||Ernst Vatter (Frankfurt/Main)||14.5 Minutes||Germany||Silent||Documentary Film||Scene with Ata Kiwan women ("People of the Mountains") playing a mancala game in the Solor-Alor Archipelago (East Indonesia).|
|Im Deutschen Sudan||1917 (filmed 1913-1914)||Hans Schomburgk||Hans Schomburgk||65 Minutes||Germany||Silent||Documentary Film||Two men playing a mancala game. It is, however, described as "chess", thus revealing the Eurocentric ideology of colonialism.|
This category includes films which explain how to make mancala boards and how to play these games.
|Samodelnoe Puteshestvie (Самодельное путешествие) (Episode 4)||2012||(?)||Zagorod TV||13 Minutes||Russia||Russian||Educational Film||A mother shows her two children how to make a mancala board and how to play the game (video).|
|Ghana (Hands On: Crafts for Kids - Season 13, Episode 11)||2010||(?)||KS Inc. Productions||26 Minutes||USA||English||Educational Film||Ashanti stool made of craft sticks; wooden jewelry with African symbols; jute basket; a foam version of a mancala game.|
|Laurence et Adélice (Jeu t'aime)||2011||Vincent Magos & Delphine Cordier||Yapaka||1.5 Minutes||Belgium||French||Educational Film||The series aired by the Belgian TV channel latrois wants to motivate parents to spend more time with their children (video).|
|Game Quilt Pattern (Kaye’s Quilting Friends Show K1506)||2008||(?)||Kaye Wood Inc.||19 Minutes||USA||English||Educational Film||Mattie creates a game quilt that is great for playing checkers, parcheesi, and mancala on. Aired on PBS and several local TV channels in Ohio (film).|
|Arts And Crafts For Kids From Around The World - Key Stage 1 And 2 - Africa||2007||(?)||Quantum Leap||90 Minutes||UK||English||Educational Film||How to make a mancala game (source).|
|Für alle Freunde der Töpferkunst (Hobbythek, Episode 16)||1976||(?)||WDR||45 Minutes||Germany||German||Do-it-yourself Show||Kalah is made of clay.|
|Spiele für Erwachsene (Hobbythek, Episode 1)||1974||(?)||WDR||45 Minutes||Germany||German||Do-it-yourself Show||Pits for playing Kalah are pressed into sand, small pebbles are used to play the game.|
Sport Magazines and ReportsEdit
This category features films about mancala tournaments.
|Seaman’s National Ayo Championship||2012||(?)||Seaman’s Schnapps / Traditional Sports Federation of Nigeria||(?)||Nigeria||English||Sport Magazines||The program is spiced with cultural dances and facts about our culture and tradition (more information).|
|Kapuso mo, Jessica Soho (Episode of February 24, 2007)||2007||Jessica Soho||GMA Channel 7||60 Minutes||Philippines||Tagalog||Report||"Sungka Diplomacy" of the Philippine Embassy during the ASEAN Sports Fest in Pretoria, South Africa in May 2006.|
|The Game of Oware||2003||Oliver Oguntade||(?)||20 Minutes||Uganda||English||Report||Interviews with members of the Ugandan Omweso team, various Oware champions, and Seth and Glenda of the Oware Society in England.|
|Sports, Society, and Self||1983||Agency for Instructional Technology||Wisconsin Educational Television Network by Positive Image Productions||15 Minutes||USA||English||Documentary Film||Awele documentary (Baoule, West Africa).|
This category includes game shows, quiz shows, do-it-yourself shows, talk shows, and reality shows.
|Survivor Türkiye - Bölüm 13 (Season 6)||2013||(?)||Star TV||125 Minutes||Turkey||Turkish||Reality Television||Short scene showing a Mangala board (video).|
|Survivor Türkiye - Bölüm 12 (Season 6)||2013||(?)||Star TV||125 Minutes||Turkey||Turkish||Reality Television||Scene showing Mangala (video).|
|Survivor Türkiye - Bölüm 11 (Season 6)||2013||(?)||Star TV||125 Minutes||Turkey||Turkish||Reality Television||Scene showing Mangala (video).|
|Survivor Türkiye - Bölüm 9 (Season 6)||2013||(?)||Star TV||111 Minutes||Turkey||Turkish||Reality Television||Scene showing Mangala (screenshot, video).|
|Awalé d'Or||2012||(?)||LONACI (Loterie Nationale de Côte d'Ivoire)||15 Minutes||Ivory Coast||French||Public Lottery Drawing||Video of first drawing.|
|Zlatý oříšek 2011||2012||(?)||ČT 1||52 Minutes||Czech Republic||Czech||Game Show||One candidate was Martin Kutiš who won the 1st place of the European Junior Championships in Toguz Kumalak at Czech Open 2011. The show was aired on January 1 (photo; video).|
|Big Brother 13 (U.S.)||2011||Allison Grodner & Rich Meehan||CBS (USA) / Global (Canada)||---||USA||English||Reality Television||Numerous mancala playing scenes.|
|Big Brother Africa 6||2011||Biola Alabi||Endemol||---||South Africa||English||Reality Television||On June 6, Weza said she had already packed but Vimbai said she wasn’t done yet as she continued with her mancala game with Wendall (screenshot).|
|Gider Ayak (Episode (?)||2010||(?)||Kanal B||60 Minutes||Turkey||Turkish||Talk Show||Short Mangala scene (video).|
|Kelime Oyunu (Episode (?))||2010||(?)||Bloomberg||(?)||Turkey||Turkish||Quiz Show||Question about Mangala (video exerpt).|
|Pinoy Big Brother (Season 1)||2010||(?)||ABS-CBN||---||Philippines||Tagalog||Reality Television||Uma Khouny plays Sungka (video).|
|Hội ngộ bất ngờ||since April 4, 2007||(?)||HTV & TNHH Kiết Tường||70 Minutes (including commercials)||Vietnam||Vietnamese||Game Show||Based on Ô Ăn Quan; photo 1 & photo 2.|
|Hola Barcelona (4 de juliol de 2006)||2006||Olga València & Núria Dias||Barcelona Televisió||11 Minutes||Spain||Catalan||Scientific Talk Show||Víktor Bautista i Roca explains Oware and shows some boards from his collection (video).|
|Eating and Sleeping with the Enemy (Survivor: Guatemala - Episode 10)||2005||Michael Simon||CBS||60 Minutes||USA||English||Reality Television||Rafe and Jamie are playing mancala again.|
|Secret and Lies and an Idol Surprise (Survivor: Guatemala - Episode 9)||2005||Michael Simon||CBS||60 Minutes||USA||English||Reality Television||Jamie and Rafe are playing a homemade version of mancala in the dirt with rocks.|
|Planet Wissen: Brettspiele - Spaß seit Jahrtausenden||2004||Christoph Teves and Claudia Kracht||WDR/SWR||58 Minutes||Germany||German||Scientific Talk Show||A would-be game expert claims that mancala games were played in Egypt in 2000 BC.|
|Shooting Stars (Season 1, Episode 10)||2004||(?)||Mastiff Media||28 Minutes||Denmark||Danish||Comedy Quiz Show||Making fun about something, which looks loke playing mancala (video excerpt).|
This category includes short films that are advertising a product, service or game (including lotteries).
|Awalé d'Or||2012||LONACI (Loterie Nationale de Côte d'Ivoire)||0.5 Minutes||Ivory Coast||French||National Lottery with a golden Awalé board (video).|
This category includes music videos, avantgarde films (also known as "experimental films") and video art.
|Adiye||2012||A. R. Rahman||Mani Ratnam Film||5 Minutes||India||Tamil||Music Video||Mentioning Pallanguzhi (video)|
|More Than A Game||2012||Jordan Harris||Jordan Harris Film||3 Minutes||USA||English||Music Video||The band "Brilliant Kids" (ft.Nino Breeze) plays numerous games including mancala (video).|
|Bao La Kete||2011||Mussah DJ cash||Kwetu Studios||6 Minutes||Tanzania||Swahili||Music Video||About the virtues of Bao (video).|
|Flora||2009||Takmi Ikeda||Takmi Ikeda||2.5 Minutes||Japan||Sounds||Electro-acoustic Work||Second version of Mkomwe, which was inspired by African Mancala (video).|
|Mkomwe||2008||Takmi Ikeda||Takmi Ikeda||3 Minutes||Japan||Sounds||Electro-acoustic Work||Inspired by African Mancala (video).|
|Jesus Christ Goes to Mars||2007||Robert Grant||Passive-Aggressive Productions||6 Minutes||USA||English||Satirical Avantgarde Film||The narrator tells that "the Roman guards played rounds of mancala amongst themselves" during the crucifixion of Jesus (video).|
|No Seed||2002||Howard and Mitzi Allen||HAMA Productions||4 Minutes||Antigua and Barbuda||English||Music Video||The music video is performed by "The New Dread and the Baldhead". It shows a game of Warri in progress (video).|
|Kalah||1981||Dora Maurer||Dora Maurer||10 Minutes||Hungary||Music and sounds||Art Film||It was often erroneously stated that the film was created in 1980 (source of the correct year).|
Also known as "fictional films" these include animations, comedies, dramas, horror movies, soap operas ("pseudo-documentaries"), and romance films.
|Kadal||2013||Mani Ratnam||Gemini Film Circuit / Thirupathi Brothers||164 Minutes||India||Tamil||Drama||A song called "Adi ye" mentions Pallanguzhi ("Pallanguzhi Paatha Puriyala Unna Nambi Vaaraenae").|
|Muhteşem Yüzyıl (Season 3, Episode 98)||2013||Yağmur Taylan & Durul Taylan||Show TV||96 Minutes||Turkey||Turkish||Historical Soap Opera||Shows a game of "Mangala" (complete video; excerpt).|
|Myna||2013||Nagashekar||Vajreshwari Combines||146 Minutes||India||Kannada||Romantic Drama||Mentioning Pallanguzhi in the song "Kichu Kichu Thambulam" (lyrics; video excerpt).|
|Dede Korkut Hikayeleri (Season 1, Episode 4)||2012||(?)||TRT Çocuk||13 Minutes||Turkey||Turkish||Animation||Showing Mangala (video).|
|The Last Fishing Boat||2012||Shemu Joyah||First Dawn Arts||110 Minutes||Malawi||English||Drama||A constant motif is the Bawo board and the struggle for it between a Malawian fisherman and an English tourist (general information)|
|Muhteşem Yüzyıl (Season 2, Episode 49)||2012||Yağmur Taylan & Durul Taylan||Star TV||90 Minutes||Turkey||Turkish||Historical Soap Opera||Shows a game of "Mangala" (photo; video).|
|Öldür Beni (Acayip Hikayeler, Episode 6)||2012||Veli Çelik||Star TV||37 Minutes||Turkey||Turkish||Drama||Shows a Mangala board (photo; video).|
|Dedemin insanlari||2011||Çagan Irmak||Ay Yapim||123 Minutes||Turkey||English, Greek, Turkish||Drama||Shows Mangala (screenshot, video).|
|Muhteşem Yüzyıl (Season 1, Episode 3)||2011||Yağmur Taylan & Durul Taylan||Show TV||90 Minutes||Turkey||Turkish||Historical Soap Opera||Shows a game of "Mangala" (more information; video).|
|Yudham Sei||2011||Mysskin||(?)||150 Minutes||India||Tamil||Crime Thriller||Mentions Pallanguzhi in the song "Kannitheevu Ponna" (video; lyrics).|
|Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak 2||2010||Ahmad Idham||Metrowealth MIC||90 Minutes||Malaysia||Malay||Horror Film||Sequel to Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak (video).|
|Jangan Pandang Belakang - The Series (Episode 1-26)||2010-2011||(?)||Astro Warna||42 Minutes||Malaysia||Malay||Horror Film||TV Sequel to Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak (e.g. Episode 6 on Vimeo; full upload).|
|Hezarfen Mangala öğreniyor||2010||(?)||TRT Çocuk||5 Minutes||Turkey||Turkish||Animation||About learning Mangala (video).|
|Long thành cầm giả ca||2010||Đào Bá Sơn||Hãng Phim Trẻ||(?)||Vietnam||Vietnamese||Historical Drama||Ô Ăn Quan is shown in the film, thus expressing the Vietnamese soul (review).|
|Ma'ami||2010||Tunde Kelani||Mainframe Productions||78 Minutes||Nigeria||English||Drama||Old men playing Ayo in Ma'ami's compound (screen shot).|
|Mawa Langa||2010||Colin Stevens||51 Minutes||UK||English||Humanitarian Drama||Two men playing Bawo (video).|
|Octane Pistols of Fury||2010||Chris Prine & Greg Stees||Escape Pod Films & Jet Lag Productions||15 Minutes||USA||English||Crime-Comedy / Short Film||Short mancala scene saying that mancala is more serious than poker (view online)).|
|Soul Boy||2010||Hawa Essuman||X Verleih AG||61 Minutes||Germany & Kenya||Swahili (Dutch, German)||Drama||Three short mancala scenes in Kibera, Kenya (the largest African slum) played on a two-row board with approximately 10 holes per row.|
|The Liberian Candidate (Unnatural History - Season 1, Episode 7)||2010||Paul Shapiro||Warner Horizon Television / Cartoon Network||45 Minutes||USA||English||Comedy-Drama||Henry and Tolo play mancala before they go to sleep.|
|Bayam Ariyaan||2009||Prateesh||Jayamathi Pictures||(?)||India||Tamil||Drama||The movie mainly deals with mother's love and the changes that absolute love brings in a man. It features the song Pallanguzhi Kannam ("Pallanguzhi Friend") (song; trailer).|
|Jangan Pandang Belakang Congkak||2009||Ahmad Idham||Metrowealth MIC||90 Minutes||Malaysia||Malay||Horror Film||Sequel to Congkak.|
|Türk Zeka ve Strateji Oyunu (Gümüş Hilal - Episode of November 19)||2009||(?)||TRT Türk||3 Minutes||Turkey||Turkish||Documentary||Explaining Mangala (video).|
|Congkak||2008||Ahmad Idham||Metrowealth MIC||90 Minutes||Malaysia||Malay||Horror Film||A traditional game turns into a haunted subject.|
|Muniyandi Vilangiyal Moondramandu||2008||Thirumurugan||Duraisingam Pillai, Karunamurthy K||(?)||India||Tamil||Romance||The song "Kodaangi vanthirukken" mentions Pallanguzhi (lyrics; excerpt with the song; note that the translation is wrong: Pallanguzhi was translated as "checkers", although this game is actually called draaft aata in Tamil).|
|Poova Thalaiya||2008||Sanjay Ram||Balu Poththam||(?)||India||Tamil||Romance||The song "Maip poosum kannazhagi" mentions Pallanguzhi (lyrics).|
|Madurai Veeran||2007||R. K. Vincent Selva||Supergood Films||155 Minutes||India||Tamil||Romance||The song "Nyokka Makka" mentions Pallanguzhi (lyrics).|
|Pirappu||2007||L. V. Ilangovan||SRM||145 Minutes||India||Tamil||Drama||The song "Ulaga Azhagi Naan Dhaan" mentions Pallanguzhi (lyrics; video excerpt with the song).|
|Azhagaai Irukkiraai Bayamaai Irukkiradhu||2006||Vijay Milton||(?)||(?)||India||Tamil||Romance||The song "Oram Po Naina" (Odi Aadinaen) mentions Pallanguzhi (lyrics; video; review).|
|Dave (Lost)||2006||Jeffrey Jacob Abrams||Buena Vista Television||46 Minutes||USA||English||Mystery||While residing at Santa Rosa, Libby is seen seated at a table with a Mancala set in front of her.|
|Kalvanin Kaadhali||2006||Thamilvaanan||Dream Makers UK5||(?)||India||Tamil, Telugu||Romance||Song mentioning Pallanguzhi (song and lyrics)).|
|The Friendship Club (Strawberry Shortcake - Season 3, Episode 1)||2006||Karen Hayden||DIC Entertainment Corporation||21 Minutes||USA||English (German)||Animation Film||Mancala mentioned in the Friendship Song (video).|
|The Game Board||2006||Kate Matthews||Kate Matthews||5 Minutes||Australia||English||Animation Film / Short Film||After an old Ethiopian folk tale, which centres around the traditional Ethiopian mancala game called Gebeta (excerpt).|
|Awale Kings||2005||Tim Hull||Tim Hull||8 Minutes||UK||English||Short Film||Children of Kela village recreate the history of how two kings played Awale at a pivotal moment in the foundation of the Great Malian Empire (script).|
|Tuli||2005||Auraeus Solito||Viva Films||113 Minutes||Philippines||Tagalog||Drama||Lesbian love story showing a young working girl selling kakanin and monay around the barrio, playing Sungka as a past-time, and bathing in a refreshing batis.|
|I Heart Huckabees||2004||David O. Russell||Fox Searchlight||106 Minutes||USA||English (French, German, Italian, Spanish)||Philosophical Comedy Film||Interesting mancala scene.|
|Massaï, les Guerriers de la Pluie||2004||Pascal Plisson||Mars Distribution||94 Minutes||France||Masai (French, Spanish)||Drama||There is a short scene towards the end with two Masai children playing mancala in the background. The board is dug in the ground and the player on the left is sowing counterclockwise.|
|Chokka Thangam||2003||K. Bhagyaraj||G. V. Films Limited||180 Minutes||India||Tamil||Romance||Pallanguzhi mentioned in the song "Ettu Jilla Paththu" (lyrics; review of the movie).|
|Old School||2003||Todd Phillips||Columbia Pictures / DreamWorks SKG||92 Minutes||USA||English||Comedy Film||Mancala scene at the Olive Garden (video excerpt).|
|No Seed||2002||Howard and Mitzi Allen||HAMA Productions||90 Minutes||Antigua and Barbuda||English||Crime Thriller||Dramatic thriller which parallels a Warri game.|
|Anandham||2001||Sreenu Vaitla||Mayuri||165 Minutes||India||Telugu||Romance||The song "Pallangkuzhiyin" features Pallanguzhi (lyrics and audio file).|
|Pengal||2001||Raj Marudhu||K. Srinath||(?)||India||Tamil||Romance||The song ("Kannukkula Pallaanguzhi" features Pallanguzhi (video).|
|Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000||2000||Roger Christian||Warner Bros. Pictures||118 Minutes||USA||English (French, German, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish)||Science Fiction Film||Children playing mancala inside a cave.|
|Ennavalle||2000||J. Suresh||Sri Sai Deva Productions||(?)||India||Tamil||Romance||Pallanguzhi mentioned in the song "Chinna Chinna Sugangal" (lyrics).|
|Xinca (BeastMaster - Season 2, Episode 5)||2000||Sylvio Tabet||Coote/Hayes Productions||45 Minutes||Canada||English||Fantasy||Voden and a girl are playing mancala (video).|
|Faat Kiné||1999||Sembene Ousmane||New Yorker Films||121 Minutes||Senegal||French & Wolof||Comedy / Drama||An extended scene between Maamy and the grandchildren played over a game of mancala.|
|Incognito||1999||Julie Dash||BET Pictures||95 Minutes||USA||English||Thriller||In a scene of this African-American thriller Erin plays mancala, which -- together with the African art visible in her office -- symbolizes that her entire world is about African American experience and culture (video).|
|Deadly Games (Diagnosis Murder #89)||1997||Christopher Hibler||CBS Television||60 Minutes||USA||English||Mystery/Medical/Crime Drama Television Series||First a very bad Weiqi scene, obviously made by someone who never played the game; eventually a mancala game is produced and played.|
|V.I.P||1997||Sabapathy Dekshinamurthy||Ayngaran International / Kalaippuli International||149 Minutes||India||Tamil||Romance||Pallanguzhi mentioned in the song "Mayilu Mayilu Mayilamma " (lyrics).|
|Chinna Vathiyar||1995||Singeetam Srinivasa Rao||Swathi Chitra International||132 Minutes||India||Tamil||Science-fiction Comedy||Pallanguzhi is mentioned in the song "Kanmaniyae Kanmaniya" (lyrics; video).|
|Le Maître d'Awale||1995 (?)||Jacques Milla||(?)||(?)||Ivory Coast||French||Drama||Awalé contest in a village in Benin between Jean-Bosco, the local champion, and a stranger who had beaten the master's bodyguards.|
|Daughters of the Dust||1991||Julie Dash||Kino International||112 Minutes||USA||English||Drama||Men living on small islands off the coast of South Carolina play Warri (source).|
|Visage de Femmes||1985||Désiré Ecaré||(?)||90 Minutes||Ivory Coast||French||Creative Documentary Film||Awalé playing scene in the Ivory Coast.|
|Pallamkuzhi||1983||N. M. Sreedharan||Vishnu Films||119 Minutes||India||Malayalam||Drama||(video).|
|Natchathiram||1980||Dasari Narayan||(?)||(?)||India||Tamil||Drama||The song "Ponnanganni Poothu" mentions Pallanguzhi (lyrics).|
|Startrek: And The Children Shall Lead||1968||Marvin J. Chomsky||Paramount Pictures||51 Minutes||USA||English (German)||Science Fiction Film||Showing a Kalah board in "stardate 5029.5" (i.e. 2268); photo.|
|Juan Tamad Goes to Congress||1959||Manuel Conde||(?)||(?)||Philippines||English, Tagalog||Satirical Movie||Sultan Maputim is depicted as being fond of Sungka, then President Garcia's favorite pastime.|
|Pilipino Kostum - No Touch!||1955||Manuel Conde||LVN Pictures||(?)||Philippines||Tagalog||Satirical Romance||Arturo bribes Adeling's father and brothers with liquor and they happily allow him to stock firewood and play sungka with Adding.|
|Fliehende Schatten||1932 (filmed in 1930-1931)||Carl Junghans and Arnold Fanck||Flugfilm Syndikat||(Only 83 minutes still exist, which amounts to about half of the original film.)||Germany||German||Adventure Film||Made by one of the leading Nazi film directors and featuring Ernst Udet, one of the most famous German aviation heroes, the surviving fragment shows Masai children who play mancala.|
|Nionga||1925||(?)||Stoll Film Company||70 Minutes||UK||Silent||Drama||Scene in which a two-row mancala game is played on a wooden board (video).|
Mancala is mentioned in some film scripts, but not shown in the actual movie. Sometimes the game also appeared in shots that were not included in the film.
Hello Africa (2009) is a documentary that illustrates cellphone culture in Africa. Although a game of Bao had been filmed (Quote: "We have great material of them chatting, dancing to mobile tunes, discussing telecom operators, fooling around, and enjoying a traditional game of Bao."), the shots weren't included in the documentary.
Machine Gun PreacherEdit
Machine Gun Preacher (2011) is an action biopic about Sam Childers, a former gang biker turned preacher and defender of African orphans. According to the script, the film should contain a mancala scene:
EXT. FRONT GATE - CHILDREN’S ORPHANAGE - NIGHT
A few of the SPLA soldiers sitting next to their weapons in the dark, smoking,tossing beads into a carved wooden trough, playing the ancient game of Mancala -- SOLDIER #2 (Arabic) That was a mistake... SOLDIER #3 (Arabic) Where? SOLDIER #2 (Arabic) Right here... your third “house” is open... 51 DENG (CONT'D) Soldier #3 reacting to his mistake as --
However, the actual film scene doesn't show mancala, just men sitting around in the dark.
Uganda Wins IndependenceEdit
Watson Kintner Collection Edit
The Watson Kintner Collection of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology is a collection of travel films, which contains several shots of mancala boards:
- Maasai playing a game on board with hollows; in: "East Africa (1952)" - Reel 8
- a Kenyan game played with holes in ground; in: "East Africa" (1961) - Reel 13
- a game of the Samburu using a wooden "frame"; in: "East Africa" (1961) - Reel 17
- indentations on base of stela at Aksum thought to be an ancient mancala game board; in: "Ethiopia" (1969) - Reel 14
- Go filmography of the European Go Federation
- Draughts/Checkers Filmography
- An extensive list of Chess scenes with photos
- A list of 1746 movies with Chess scenes by Bill Wall
- Basalla, B.
- Chess in the Movies. Thinkers' Press, Davenport IA (USA) 2005.
- Möller, O.
- Der Blick: Anmerkungen zur Filmreihe "Erster Kontakt - Erster Blick". In: Film-Dienst 1993; 46 (15): 14-15.
- Tiongson, N.
- The Cinema of Manuel Conde. University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, Manila (Philippines) 2008.