The African Film Festival of Cordoba commences a fascinating cinematic journey through 30 nations
The competition relocates from Tarifa to Cordoba in its ninth edition.
Cordoba, October 13th 2012. The African Film Festival of Cordoba-FCAT is in full swing starting today and will be running the duration of the week on a cinematic journey through the vast African continent with nearly 100 films from 28 nations.
After 8 years in the Cadiz municipality of Tarifa, the festival has relocated to Cordova, having established itself as an annual point of reference for African cinema in Europe. Furthermore, this is the only Spanish event with competitive sections dedicated to African productions, and is one of the most important in the world.
The festival, organized by the ONGD Al Tarab with the support, among others, of the Cordoba City Hall, the Regional government of Andalusia, and the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID) – will excite the city of the Mezquita through the projection of 94 films from or about Africa, a complete Professional Space, expositions, workshops, and similar activities open to the public.
The director of the festival, Mane Cisneros, has stated that the African Film Festival of Cordoba, “will want to be the window of attraction for those interested in approaching Africa; a continent often ignored and used as fodder for prejudice, through the merit of its filmmakers.”
Cisneros points out that this continent “is more than hunger, poverty, and war.” “Often overlooked, Africa is the continent with greatest numbers of developing nations and has been the second most region of growth in the world during the last 10 years. Meanwhile, Europe lives in an unprecedented social climate of economic recession” Cisneros adds.
Ultimately, the director of the FCAT Cordoba has affirmed that the Festival “is attempting to uproot the preconceived notion that the general public has of Africa while opening the minds of the spectators and providing a forum in which Africans may speak for themselves.”
In this way, the award of the festival is the Griot. In Western Africa, the griot is a story teller, representing a figure of oral tradition with enormous symbolic value. “In the same way that the griots are the recipients and guardians of history in West Africa, the filmmakers, actors, and screenwriters who participate in the FCAT Cordoba give themselves to the construction and conservation of history in the collective memory of and for their people.”
Arabic Cinema and the Middle East
FCAT Cordoba presents the latest productions of African cinematographers, with the special involvement of South Africa, a nation invited to the FCAT Professional Space, and Morocco, the two largest producers of the continent outside of Nollywood, the potent industry of Nigerian cinema, which is the second largest in the world following Bollywood.
As it is, in the festival a total of 28 nations while be represented, 16 of which are African: Angola, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, guinea, Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, and Tunisia.
As a novelty and in tune with the history of the new headquarters, the city of Cordoba, the festival will dedicate for the year 2012 a special viewing of Middle Eastern films. The new noncompetitive section, Panárabica, is composed of select films from the official section of the last International Film Festival of Dubai (DIFF), which includes films from Egypt, Jordan, Libya, and Syria.
The screening program of the festival will be distributed across seven official sections as well as a section dedicated to retrospectives and monographs. Around twenty titles will be competing in the following competitive sections: El Sueño Africano (the African dream) which consists of feature length narrative films, Al otro Lado del Estrecho (Across the Strait,) a collection of feature length documentaries, and África en Corto (Africa in Short,) a collection of short films both documentary and narrative.
Between the 23 competitive titles, the festival will present the first feature length narrative film shot in Rwanda, Matière Grise by Kivu Ruroharoza which deals with the reconciliation of the terrible genocide that occurred in this Nation. Also projected is The Education of Auma Obama by Branwen Okpako, which establishes a parallel between Auma Obama, a fighting woman and activist of strong feminist conviction during the months before the election of her brother, Barack Obama. A South African film, Skoonheid by Oliver Hermanus is showing, which addresses the themes of homosexuality with African crudity.
More yet, in the noncompetitive section we are able to see AfroScope, a panoramic selection of both African and International films which focus on the realities of contemporary Africa, while AnimáAfrica presents animated films, and África en Ritmo (Africa in rhythm) incorporates films relating to the music and/or dance of Africa. Finally, Panárabica will make available to the public a selection of contemporary films from the Arab world outside of Africa.
In the portion of Retrospectives and Monographs, the principle works of Algerian cinema will review the recent history of Algeria in Algeria, 50 years of History and Cinema (50 years after Independence.) For it’s part, Cinema and Metropolis explores the African city through film; meanwhile Abderrahmane Sissako’s Little Cinemathèque presents five films selected by the Mauritanian director.
FCAT Professional Space
Cinema is a culture, but at the same time, an industry. The FCAT Cordoba includes a Professional Space, which this year will feature South Africa as an invited nation. This space is dedicated to promoting the cooperation between the African film professionals, Spain, and the rest of the world. FCAT Professional Space 2012 has two grand components: The 4th Forum of African Coproduction, and a series of conferences and round table discussions which deal with the key themes of financing, production, distribution, and exhibition of the works of African cinema.
The filmmakers invited will present their projects before a Spanish audience and international producers, distributors, and financiers with the objective of promoting coproductions. In collaboration with the Italian foundation Lettera27, the festival has created a 25,000 euro prize with which to support the recipient film’s development. Three of the participants from the Babylon International project, which is jointly funded by the Media Mundus Program, and the Nigerian Film Corporation.
Finally, the festival has organized an extensive program of activities such as masterclasses, expositions, dance and percussion workshops, citizen participation workshops, the Hall of African Cinema in the University of Cordoba, meetings, and conferences.
What: African Film Festival of Cordoba
Dates: from 13 to 20 October
Marion Girard Cisneros
Tel.: +34 608 414702
Do you have a story or an article to publish? Please email us to firstname.lastname@example.org.