Genre : Festival | Berlin

From tuesday 10 to sunday 15 november 2015

Times : 00:00
Tel. : +49 (0)30 269 55 100
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv

The Greater Lakes region of Central Africa is on these shores mostly known for the bloody conflicts in Burundi, Eastern Congo and Rwanda.  Less for its emerging film scene, that grapples intensively with the past and the societal complexity of today.

The eighth edition of AFRIKAMERA - CURRENT AFRICAN CINEMA,, organised by the charitable cultural society toucouleur e.V., presents a selection of feature and short films from and about the region, centered around Lake Kivu.

Influenced by the peace process after the genocide on Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 1994, Rwanda and Burund saw the emergence of a multitude of private initiatives from private television and film producers.

For a young generation of directors, movies have become the central medium for remembrance, witnessing, understanding and forgiving in the context of the societal quarrels that have torn the Greater Lakes region, and still does so.

Directors, such as Eric Kabera, Joel Karekezi and Kivu Ruhorahoza in Rwanda, Guy Karema and Justine Bitagoye in Burundi, and Dieudo Hamadi, Franck Mweze, Sylvain Mitima in D.R. Congo represent this approach with their films. Some of the main protagonists from the emerging film scene in the region will attend AFRIKAMERA.

As will representatives from the relevant festivals in the Greater Lakes region, such as FESTICAB (Le Festival International de Cinéma et de l'Audiovisuel du Burundi), Rwanda International Film Festival (RFF), as well as FESTBUK (D.R. Congo). Albeit still budding, these festivals have already become indispensable as platforms where young film makers of the region present their work. And not the least are they important venues for interaction and networking between directors, producers and distributors.

Likewise AFRIKAMERA 2015 - THE GREAT LAKES does not limit itself to showing films from this region, but is as always a project for mutual knowledge transfer - concerning festival organisation (curation, festival management, production, marketing and PR) as well as film production.

The AFRIKAMERA team attended thus already in September 2015 a series of workshops as guests at the KWETU FILM INSTITUTE in Kigali, and during AFRIKAMERA a return visit from festival makers, directors and producers from Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo takes place. At the centre of the workshops in Berlin is hence the transfer of knowledge within film production

AFRIKAMERA 2015 - THE GREAT LAKES thus combines exchange and knowledge transfer with film presentations and thereby connects Germany and the Greater Lakes region. More information about the workshops and the qualification program can shortly be found here.

The festival opens with L'OEIL DU CYCLONE, the Berlin premiere of the latest film by Sekou Traoré (Burkina Faso/France 2015 I 10.11. & 15.11.). Its captivating images are a chamber play based on a theatrical piece about an idealistic lawyer (Mouna N'Diaye), who takes over the defence of an alleged rebel leader (Fargass Assandé). Theme is the every day insanity, that also grants the Greater Lakes region no respite: barter deals with diamonds for weapons, the use of child soldiers against a defenceless civil population, the entanglement of government representatives in dirty deals with warlords. The leading actors were given the acting prizes at this year's FESPACO. The Director will be attending.

In CONGO IN FOUR ACTS (DR Congo/South Africa  2010 I 11.11.) three young Congolese film makers draw a complex picture of their homeland. In Zero Tolerance Dieudo Hamadi and Divita Wa Lusala follow a group of youths, who get arrested and handed over to the authorities after attacking a woman. In Ladies in Waiting Hamadi tells a story about young mothers, who have to fight for their freedom. With Symphony Kinshasa Kiripi Katembo Siku takes on the ailing infrastructure of the Congolese capital. in After the Mine he takes different perspectives on the consequences of the trade with natural resources for the country's society.

100 DAYS (Rwanda/GB 2001, 11.11.) by Nick Hughes is the first Rwandan produced feature film that thematises the genocide on the Tutsis in 1994. Young Josette loses her brother in the massacres and hides in a church, allegedly protected by UN forces. She thus relies on the local priest's protection, he exacts a high price, though. The film's producer and director of the Kwetu Film Institute in Kigali, Eric Kabera, will attend the screening.

In L'HOMME QUI REPARE LES FEMMES (DR Congo/Belgium 2015, 11.11.) Thierry Michel portaits the work of Congolese gynecologist Dr. Mukwege, Sakharov Prize laureate, who fights to give thousands of rape victims from the Congolese war a life in dignity. The festival presents the movie as Germany premiere.

THE SPRINGBOARD, a documentary by Joseph Ndayisenga (Burundi 2014 I 12.11.), tells the story of a football team, consisting of Burundian street children, that are invited to the Street Child World Cup  in Brazil. The kids do anything to make their dream come true.

AFRICAN SHORTS - THE GREAT LAKES (12.11.) presents a selection of current short films from the region in cooperation with selected film festivals.

Representatives for FESTICAB (Le Festival International de Cinèma et de Audivisuel Burundi), Rwanda International Film Festival (RFF) and FESTBUK (DR Congo) will attend the screening.

The documentary L'AFRIQUE EN MORCEAUX, LA TRAGEDIE DES GRANDS LACS (Egypt/France/GB 2002 I 12.11.) by Jihan El Tahri and Peter Chappell looks at the geoplitical long-term effects of the 1994 Rwanda genocide. In numerous and rare interviews with the statesmen of the region the strategic chess moves of the regional politics of the day are retold and light is shed on the background for the ongoing Congolese war.

I MASHOKA by Jean-Marie Ndihokubwayo and Pascal Capitolin (Burundi 2014 I 13.11.) is set in the future. 2058, an unknown African country has stuck in crisis for more than 40 years. The water is polluted, nothing can be harvested or consumed. Society is threatened by the definite division.

Co-director Pascal Capitolin will attend the Germany premiere of the movie.

In Koudougou, Burkina Faso's third largest city, a textile factory is in decay. Fasi Fani was shut down in 2001. Michel K. Zongo's documentary, LA SIRÈNE DU FASO FANI (Burkina Faso/France/Germany/Qatar 2015 I 13.11.) is a homage to the African resistance and fighting spirit towards the madness of globalisation and the destructive politics of the IMF. The director will be attending.

Kivu Ruhorahoza's PÈLERINAGES (Rwanda 2015 I 13.11.) is an impressive self reflexion over the existence as "African artist". The first-person narrator is through his film career given the possibility of getting to know the most remote corners of the world - along the way, though, he's increasingly overwhelmed by doubts and loneliness. Germany premiere, attended by the director.

AFRICA UNITED by Debs Gardner-Paterson (Rwanda/GB 2011 I 14.11.)  tells the story of three Rwandan kids who dream of taking part in the opening ceremony at the football World Cup in South Africa. En route to Johannesburg they board the wrong bus, and instead it takes them on an adventurous journey to DR Congo. Germany premiere.

The documentary CONGO, UN MEDECIN POUR SAUVER LES FEMMES (DR Congo/Senegal 2014 I 14.11.) is also focused on the work of Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege. Beside the physician his patients are here first and foremost given a voice.. Germany premiere, attended by Senegalese director Angèle Diabang.

Supporting film: M'BOTE by Tshoper Karambi (DR Congo 2013)

Kenian Jim Chuchu is one of the best know queer activists on the continent, and a member of "The Nest". To make STORIES OF OUR LIVES (Kenya 2014 I 14.11.) the members of the multi disciplinary arts collective travel through Kenya and collect stories from young LGBTIs, who tell about their experiences and every day in the still very homophobic country. Out of the myriad of stories they develop five screenplays for short films, that give an overview of the current situation and problems of the sexually marginalised youngsters.

With THINGS OF THE AIMLESS WANDERER (Rwanda/GB 2015) AFRIKAMERA screens a second Germany premiere by Kivu Ruhorahoza. As the first colonialists visited Eastern Africa, the indigenous Bantu population named them "Wazungu".  In the movie a such "Wazungu" meets a native girl, who disappears under mysterious circumstances. The director will be attending.

With the special program LAUGH IS POSSIBLE IN AFRICAN CINEMA (15.11.) the festival presents a selection of the funniest African short films from the last years - amongst others PEAU DE COLLE by Kaouther Ben Hania (Tunesia/France 2013), who received the audience prize at Leiden International Short Film Experience.

UNE REVOLUTION AFRICAINE. LES DIX JOURS QUI ONT FAIT CHUTER BLAISE COMPAORÉ by Boubacar Sangaré and Gidéon Vink (Burkina Faso 2015) documents the toppling of the authoritarian regime of Blaise Compaoré after 27 years of undivided rule of Burkina Faso, created by the powers of the street.  The documentary draws a picture of the dramatic events of October 2014 an lends an ear to the organisers and partakers of the protests.

The festival closes with RUN (Ivory Coast/France 2014) by Philippe Lacôte. A young man has killed the prime minister of his country. Faking a mental handicap he is on the run, from his pursuers and from him self and his dreams and memories. The director will attend the screening.

Information / Venue

Potsdamer Straße 2 D-10785 Berlin


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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

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