Friday, September 30th through Sunday, October 2nd, 2011, African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) and the Reel Life Film Club at The Life House will collaboratively present Lights, Camera, AFRICA! 2011 – a film festival showcasing some of the most exciting and original films of African cinema. The series will take place in Lagos, Nigeria at The Life House and other locations in the surrounding area. The Lights, Camera, AFRICA! 2011 Film Festival aims to stimulate discourse on issues and experiences that are rooted in the African experience. In this way, African stories will also be consumed by those who live them.
This year’s inaugural theme is centered on the heady days of colonial Africa and the continent’s response to post-colonial challenges in more recent times. The line-up of films includes documentaries, features and shorts. The works come from all over the continent and the Diaspora and address a wide range of issues, including: the environment, traditionalism, spirituality, immigration, entrepreneurship and not least, independence.
Friday, 30 September
Directed by Chika Anadu, Nigeria, 6 min.
Jann Turner, South Africa, 93 min., 2009
Set against South Africa’s breathtaking landscapes, White Wedding is a high-spirited modern day road comedy about love, commitment, intimacy, friendship, and the unbelievable obstacles that can get in the way of a fairy-tale ending. White Wedding subtly interweaves South Africa’s history as bride, groom, friends and lovers are forced to look at the meaning of marriage, fidelity, honesty and the two sides to every story.
Chika Anadu, Nigeria, 2010, 9 min.
A woman, a few hours away from her wedding ponders on her relationship with her husband to-be.
Saturday, 1 October
Dyana Gaye, Senegal, 2006, 15 min.
Ousmane, a 7 year old child who begs in the streets, decides to write a letter to Father Christmas…
Hawa Essuman, Kenya/Germany, 2008, 60 min.
14 year old Abila lives with his parents in Kibera, one of the largest slums in East Africa. One morning the teenager discovers his father ill and delirious. Someone has stolen his soul, mumbles the father as he sits huddled in a corner. Abila is shocked and confused but wants to help his father and goes in search of a suitable cure. Supported by his friend Shiku who is the same age as him, he learns that his father has gambled his soul away in the company of a spiritual woman. The teenager does not want to believe it and sets about looking for the witch. When he finally discovers her in the darkest corner of the ghetto, she give him seven challenging tasks to save his father’s lost soul. Abila embarks on an adventurous journey which leads him right through the microcosm of his hometown.
Wanuri Kahiu, Kenya, 2010, 20 min.
Pumzi is set in the East African region, 35 years after World War III, in a world without water and toxic soil. The story is told through the eyes of Asha, a curator at a virtual natural history museum in the Maitu Community. The outside world is a lifeless desert inferno, but life behind the walls is just as desolate. Citizens are prescribed “dream suppressants” and the holographic Maitu Council rule with a draconian grip. The city’s luckier citizens, like Asha, work as bureaucrats or magistrates. The lower classes produce power for the city using archaic workout equipment or sponge up errant droplets of water in the lavatory.
Burning in the Sun
Cambria Matlow, USA, 2010, 82min.
26-year-old charmer Daniel Dembele is equal parts West African and European, and looking to make his mark on the world. Seizing the moment at a crossroads in his life, Daniel decides to return to his homeland in Mali and start a local business building solar panels – the first of its kind in the sun drenched nation. Daniel’s goal is to electrify the households of rural communities, 99% of which live without power. Burning in the Sun tells the story of Daniel’s journey growing the budding idea into a viable company, and of the business’ impact on Daniel’s first customers in the tiny village of Banko. Taking controversial stances on climate change, poverty, and African self-sufficiency, the film explores what it means to grow up as a man, and what it takes to prosper as a nation.
One Way, a Tuareg journey
Fabio Caramschi, Italy/Niger, 2010, 52min.
In Italian and Tamasheq
Caramaschi’s inspirational documentary chronicles a separated family’s slow, fractured emigration from Niger to Italy, and the adversity and opportunities they find there.
Cuba: An African Odyssey
Jihan El-Tahri, Egypt,2008, 118 min.
This film explores how Cuba, under the leadership of Fidel Castro, gave critical support to Africa’s liberation movements. Cuban influence was instrumental in advancing the decolonization process, which brought independence to much of the continent. Travelling through Congo, Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau, this film conveys a strong sense of what it was like to be a part of these incredible events by presenting the viewer with rarely seen archival footage and in-depth interviews with those who set the course of Africa’s recent history.
Clouds Over Conakry
Cheick Fantamady Camara, Guinea, 2007, 113 min.
A humourous, yet thoughtful and impassioned cautionary tale on the intractable social dichotomies between tradition and modernity – the personal (and cultural) struggle to find moral balance between upholding indigenous customs and embracing progressive ideals – that continue to shape contemporary African society. At the heart of the conflict is a talented political cartoonist and artist, Bangali, affectionately known as BB who pseudonymously signs his newspaper with a rudimentary glyph in order to conceal his life’s vocation (and passion) from his father, a superstitious, and deeply old fashioned marabout. In love with his mentor and editor’s beautiful daughter, Kesso, a web designer, BB’s hopes for a life together with his beloved Kesso and a professional career as an artist is soon dimmed when his father, having experienced a dream that he believes was guided by the spirit of their village ancestors, decides to bypass his religious, older son’s wishes to study abroad and become an imam, and instead, chooses his visibly disinterested younger son, BB, to succeed him in their ancestral vocation.
Sunday, 2 October
A History of Independence/Il Était Une Fois L’independence
Daouda Coulibaly, Senegal/Mali, 2009, 21 min.
It is the early 1960s and Nama and Siré have just got married, Nama decides to make his home in a cave, where he will lead a hermit’s life and devote himself to God. One day, God sends an angel to Nama to thank him for being so devoted.
Ebele Okoye, Nigeria, 2007, 5.30 min.
On the streets of a small suburb, a strange woman displays a strange behavioral pattern.
Sex, Okra and Salted Butter
Mahamat Saleh-Haroun, Chad/France, 2007, 81 min.
Mr. Haroun (Daratt) reveals an incredible sense of humor in this comedy. An extra-marital affair leads to Hortense’s separation from her very traditional African husband, who is in for a ride as he learns about her love affair, his eldest son’s secret love life, and the responsibilities of single parenthood.