Tuesday, October 30, 2018

ENTERTAINMENT: Celebrating African cinema around the world

Old cinema in Stone Town, the historic centre of Zanzibar City, Tanzania. Photo by: Georgia Popplewell/Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
AfroCine: Celebrating African cinema around the world

GLOBAL VOICES - This Special Coverage page is the result of a partnership between Global Voices and Wikimedia's AfroCine Project, which aims to ensure that African cinema is much more visible, accessible and celebrated on Wikipedia.

The entertainment industry in Africa is huge. Nigerian cinema is currently ranked as the third largest film industry in the world, in terms of revenue and production output. Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, and Egypt also have major film industries.

However, information about those booming industries in Wikipedia is limited and scattered. In order to bridge the gap, a group of Wikipedia editors launched the AfroCine Project to encourage the contribution of content to Wikipedia projects that relate to the historical and contemporary cinema, theatre, and arts sectors of African countries, the Caribbean and the diaspora.

Since 2005, Global Voices contributors in sub-Saharan Africa have written about the film industry and films in their countries that are underreported in mainstream media. We've compiled over 40 of those posts from more than 20 countries.
Africa (regional)
The role of music in African cinema — Since the early days of African cinema, music has formed part of a (self) conscious discourse concerning the problematic realities of Africa. Its use has rarely been gratuitous and goes far beyond the traditional—and much less experimental—Western customs of dramatic punctuation, of evocation of place, of establishing an emotional relationship with the spectator in which the image is almost always predominant, or as accompaniment to the never-ceasing rush of action that hardly leaves one time to think…”
Francophone Africa Is the New Land of Opportunity for the French Media Industry — The French media market is stagnant, but some see the African continent as the place to re-boot growth in the sector.
African Cinema Honored at Film Festival — The 23rd Pan-African Film Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO, Festival Panafricain du Cinéma de Ouagadougou). The festival took place from February 23 to March 2, 2013.
Deadly Diseases, Violent Conflicts and White Saviors: Hollywood's Skewed Portrayal of Africa —The film “Outbreak” about a fictional Ebola-like virus hit theaters nearly 20 years ago. Has Hollywood's perception of Africa evolved since then?
10 New Documentaries at the Luxor African Film Festival — “The third edition of the Egyptian Luxor African Film Festival again has a wide-ranging programme scheduled”.
African Cinema Honored at Film Festival — The 23rd Pan-African Film Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO, Festival Panafricain du Cinéma de Ouagadougou). The festival took place from February 23 to March 2, 2013.
Brazil
Afro-Brazilian Women, Tight Curly Hair and Black Consciousness — The web documentary Raíz Forte (Strong Roots), which depicts how black women in Brazil have historically dealt with their hair.
Cape Verde
A Story of Accessibility — Daivarela, on his blog, tells [pt] the story of how a Capeverdean journalist, Maria Zinha, has successfully received a diploma in Cinema and Audiovisual, despite the accessibility barriers she constantly faces in the island of Mindelo to do her job, where “stairs are the main difficulty”.
Colombia
Film on the Afro-Colombian People in Theaters in August —The Colombian movie Chocó, on the life of an Afro-Colombian family in the coastal region of Chocó, which opened the Cartagena International Film Festival.
Egypt
Documentary Libido Challenges Egyptians to Talk About Sex – Libido is a short documentary discussing sexuality in Egypt. Following the internet sensation, Global Voices Online's Ahmed Awadalla probes further and talked to filmmaker Youssef Alimam.
Filmpoem “Prayer of Fear” Stuns Egypt — The Egyptian citizen collective Mosireen has been tirelessly documenting the #Jan25 revolution and the events that followed in images and documentaries. One of their very last creations is “Prayer of Fear”, a ‘film-poem’ by Mahmoud Ezzat narrated by Mosireen member Salma Said.
France
Documentary ‘Too Black To Be French’ Wants to Start an Honest Conversation on Race in France — “Too Black to Be French” is a documentary made by Isabelle Boni-Claverie, a French-Ivorian writer and filmmaker. Boni-Claverie's goal is to provide unexplored ideas and start a conversation on French society's inequalities and discrimination.
A Documentary of the History of Black People in France — A new film about the black community in France: “Noirs de France” (“Blacks of France”) is a documentary of the history of black people in France. It's based on the book “La France Noir” of French historian Pascal Blanchard. The documentary is aired on France 5 in three episodes and was made available on DVD on February 20, 2012.
‘Let's Not Give In to Fear': An Interview With Hugues Lawson-Body, Photographer of Celebrities and Parisian Youth — “I try to photograph young people just as they are. They are just as important as the adult generation, yet they suffer from neglect and need to be inspired.”
Ghana
The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo — “This feature-length documentary charts Ama Ata Aidoo's creative journey in a life that spans seven decades from colonial Ghana, through the tumultuous era of independence, to a soberer present-day Africa where nurturing women's creative talent remains as hard as ever.”
Shining Light on Akan/Twi Movies — African Movie Critic shines a light on Akan/Twi movies from Ghana: “I have always said local movies in both Ghana and Nigeria (e.g. Yoruba movies) ALWAYS seem to have a better storyline. Why is that? Is it because the actors and actresses are able to perform better and let the story shine when acting in their own local dialect? And if so why not maybe do more of such movies with confidence that nonetheless, it will still make an international film festival.”
The Witches of Gambaga — By writer and filmmaker Yaba Badoe.
New Ghanaian movie — “‘Sinking Sands’ is about a couple, Jimah (Jimmy Jean-Louis from Haiti) and Pabi (Ama K. Abebrese from Ghana) in a loving marriage which turns into one of violence and abuse when Jimah becomes disfigured in a domestic accident.”
The emergence of Ghanaian movies— The emergence of the Ghanaian movie industry: Ghanaian movies are starting to gun for awards. Revele Productions’ “Run Baby Run” has been the most successful movie to date while Agony of the Christ picked up a bunch of nominations at the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAAs).
Guinea-Bissau
Why Doesn't It Rain in Guinea-Bissau Like It Used To? — While world leaders discuss climate change in Paris, the decrease in rainfall and sea level rise are threatening the soil fertility and the subsistence of the people of Guinea-Bissau.
Haiti
Haitian-American Filmmakers’ Web Series Invites Women to Live, Laugh, Love (Part 1) — Haitian-born, US-based director Francesca Andre's web series has a lot to say about young women making their way in today's world.
Haitian-American Filmmakers’ Web Series Invites Women to Live, Laugh, Love (Part 2) — Global Voices speaks to Melanie Charles, a Haitian-American jazz vocalist who plays the lead role of Gaelle.
Film Explores Haiti's Only Free School for Children With Disabilities — Only 1 in 50 Haitian children with disabilities attend school. This is a tremendous setback both for the children who stay home, and for parents…”
“Excalibur of the Caribbean” — Haiti Innovation blogs about a short film profiling a Haitian machete-fighting instructor.
Jamaica
Meet the Anti-Discrimination Non-Profit Behind the Jamaican Version of a ‘Privilege Walk’ — “We believe that everyone, no matter who they are, is deserving of respect. […] This is necessary for changing the course [of] human rights development in Jamaica.”
Jamaica Loses a Visionary With the Passing of Artist Peter Dean Rickards — One Twitter user, mourning the artist's death, remembered him saying, “I just wanna cause enough shit to be a good bar story for a hundred years or so.” Mission accomplished.
When Bob Marley Went to Africa — “The film opens on the Ghanaian coast at the remnants of a slave post, the camera then pans over the Atlantic, finally settling on the green hills of rural Jamaica (Marley’s birthplace Nine Mile) from where it picks up Bob Marley’s story, thus cementing a link between the continent and its new world diaspora.”
The Iconic Trinidadian Film You've Never Seen — In 1974, Bim—widely regarded as the iconic Trinidadian film—was released, then faded into obscurity. 40 years later, one film enthusiast gives it new life via Facebook.
Black Power Documentary — “You could put all of the scholarship produced by the University of the West Indies and all the newspaper and TV stories done about the 1970 uprising in Trinidad and Tobago on one side and, when you tossed the single DVD of ’70: Remembering a Revolution into the other pan, the scale would come crashing down on ‘70’s side”.
Kenya
Movie About Oldest Kenyan Primary School Pupil — “The First Grader,” a movie about Maruge – the oldest Kenyan primary school pupil: “I am gutted that they didn't call the movie ‘Form One’ – which would have been a lot more apt and less corny, however, it's the true story of a man in his 80s who asserted his right to free primary education in 2004 when the Kenya government announced that primary education would be free for ALL (Kenyans).”
Madagascar
How Do Madagascar's People Get By on So Little? With Lots of Ingenuity —“Ady Gasy”, a documentary by rising filmmaker Lova Nantenaina, portrays the resourcefulness of Madagascar's people to overcome their daily struggles.
Malawi
Malawian Film Helps Farmers Cope With Climate Change — The film is a drama using local actors and was devised with Malawian writer Jonathan Mbuna following extensive research with various agricultural NGOs in Malawi.
Moving Windmills: The William Kamkwamba Story — “Moving Windmills” is a documentary that tells the true story of William Kamkwamba, a young innovator from Malawi, Africa, who taught himself to generate electricity by building a windmill from found materials and scrap parts.
Mali
What Do Africans Think of the Film ‘Timbuktu’ About Life Under Islamic Militants? — In Africa, opinions are divided on the Mauritanian film “Timbuktu.” Some love it, others think external factors are the reason for its success.
Mauritania
A glimpse of Nouakchott's 7th Short Film Festival — Organized by the House of Mauritanian Filmmakers, Nouakchott's 7th short film festival kicked off on October 23, 2012. Ahmed Jeddou compiled some of the reactions to the event.
Morocco
Some Moroccans Are Tired of Getting the Hollywood Treatment — Moroccan cities and desert locales have served as stand-ins for many movies set in other Middle East countries. Some in Morocco would like their country to play itself more often.
Nigeria
Banned Occupy Nigeria Documentary Goes Viral — A Nigerian documentary about the government's removal of a fuel subsidy last year, which sparked the country's Occupy Nigeria protest, has gone viral on the Nigerian blogosphere after authorities banned the film.
Documentary: Nigeria’s Millionaire Preachers — A new documentary: “Unreported World: Nigeria’s Millionaire Preachers”, which touches on the issues of fraud and exploitation: “The documentary makers reported on the case of Therese, a widower who was told her late husband was a member of a devil-worshipping cult and persuaded Therese that God wanted her to sell everything her husband owned.”
Sierra Leone
Say Grace Before Drowning — “Say Grace Before Drowning” is a film by Sierra Leonean/American Nikyatu Jusu: “The film tells the story about a woman’s struggle to overcome the insanity of war as she tries to adjust to a life in exile.”
Somalia
Upcoming Documentary Looks at Causes of Somali Conflict — “Kacaan: The Untold Stories” is a hard-hitting documentary film that looks objectively at the background to the Somali conflict and its causes with a special emphasis on events after 1969.
South Africa
Talking Heads Project Showcases What is Extraordinary About People in Africa — Talking Heads is a project of the Africa Centre, a non-profit cultural organization based in Cape Town, South Africa. Talking Heads produces audio casts and short films, which are freely available on YouTube and iTunes.
Sci-Fi Novel “Zoo City” to Get Film Adaptation — “After winning several literary awards and garnering global acclaim for its clever originality, South African author Lauren Beukes’ science-fiction novel, Zoo City, recently saw its film rights awarded to producer Helena Spring (Red Dust, Yesterday, The First Grader), a fellow South African.”
South Sudan
Documentary About South Sudan National Football Team's First Coach — A documentary about the first ever manager of the first ever South Sudanese national football team.
Tanzania
Dear Tanzanian Cinephiles, Your Local Film Industry Needs Your Support — Tanzania is blessed with countless stories and young people who are craving to tell them. But they need their compatriots’ support in order to succeed.
Farewell to a Film Star — Tanzania bid farewell to one of its most popular film stars, Steven Kanumba, with an emotionally-charged funeral on April 11, 2012. He died early on Saturday morning, aged 28.
Trinidad and Tobago
The Iconic Trinidadian Film You've Never Seen — In 1974, Bim—widely regarded as the iconic Trinidadian film—was released, then faded into obscurity. 40 years later, one film enthusiast gives it new life via Facebook.
Black Power Documentary — “You could put all of the scholarship produced by the University of the West Indies and all the newspaper and TV stories done about the 1970 uprising in Trinidad and Tobago on one side and, when you tossed the single DVD of ’70: Remembering a Revolution into the other pan, the scale would come crashing down on ‘70’s side”.
Uganda
A Ugandan Transgender Girl Fights for Her Right to Love — “Rough Studios, a small Swedish production company, has released the first episode of a documentary series about being transgender in Uganda.”

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