Elien Spillebeen is a Belgian journalist and documentary filmmaker.
With Backup Butembo (2014), she brought the story of a group of brave inhabitants of a town in the conflict zone of eastern Congo. This film won several awards, including a LAMA for Best Documentary at the Los Angeles Movie Awards. With Beni Files (2017), she established an online memorial to the victims of a series of forgotten massacres in North Kivu. Beni Files consisted of a web documentary, a TV report (Vranckx, Canvas), an online memorial and an expo giving the victims a face again.
As a freelance journalist and director, Elien also produces reports and documentaries on various social and international themes (migration, climate, gender).
At the same time, she also founded the organisation Mama Kivu. For her voluntary efforts to give more resonance to the voices of women from conflict zones, she received the title of peace woman in the Belgian Senate in 2014, a title awarded by the Dutch-speaking and French-speaking Women's Council.
Elien studied International Politics in Ghent and Aix-en-Provence and specialised in Sub-Saharan Africa.
As a member of the editorial board of MO*, she follows developments in Central and East Africa.