African Screens - New Cinema from Africa

Genre : Festival | Berlin

From friday 10 october to monday 10 november 2008

Times : 00:00
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv

A survey of contemporary African cinema, where decisive changes have taken place over the past fifteen years, and a glimpse into the continent's 'visual future'. The fes-tival presents the latest developments in cinema in the Francophone, Lusophone and Anglophone countries, the reception and impact of digital technologies, and the emergence of new film markets. The curator of the festival, Manthia Diawara, Profes-sor of Comparative Literature, expert on African literature and film, and director of the Institute for African Studies at New York University, speaks - with these transforma-tions in mind - of a profound change in perspectives and a shift in paradigms.

Regions that hardly existed on the film map during the 1990s - the countries of An-glophone southern Africa - have become important. New structures of film and video production, pioneered by South Africa and Nigeria, have emerged. Nollywood videos are selling like hotcakes not only in Nigeria, but also throughout the entire continent, reaching millions of people. At the same time, successful marketing instruments are being created: the Cape Town World Cinema Festival has now joined forces with the SITHENGI Southern African Film and Television Market. In Nigeria and South Africa, innovative films made by the authors are making headway. New formats are appear-ing: television series of a high artistic standard, documentary film projects on AIDS and everyday violence, soaps dealing with ethnic minorities, etc. Films are also ap-pearing that reveal the influence of Africa's oral narrative structures; others are being made in the tradition of French art and essayist cinema. For some time now, these films, with their suggestive pull, have been appearing at the world's leading festivals across the globe and receiving awards.
The Festival illustrates these changes and, taking the classical works of African cin-ema, shows the beginnings of contemporary cinema in Africa and the pioneers who made it possible.
In four sections, showing approximately forty feature films, documentaries and short films, the festival will be presenting a panorama of contemporary African film. A long weekend is devoted to the final edition of the most highly attended film festival in the world, the FESPACO in Ouagadougou. A film seminar run by Manthia Diawara will examine the significance of Senghor's 'Negritude' for African cinema and the epochal films made by Ousmane Sembène, the doyen of African cinema, who died in 2007. His positions have led a great number of film-makers to reject Senghor's 'négritude'; instead, they are influenced by Sembène's more socialistic and realistic pan-African cinema. Pan-African Cinema Continued examines the future of Pan-Africanism in the age of globalisation and transnational migration movements. It presents the latest productions by directors who see themselves in the revolutionary and freedom-fighting tradition of Sembène and whose films centre on themes such as modernity, identity, collective memory and self-determination. Nollywood Cinema is an attempt to approach visually and theoretically the tradition's narrative and ideological struc-tures as well as the use of digital technology, as exemplified by a film industry that now produces more films than India and the USA.


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  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

With the support of