The film festival, an opportunity for Wellington to discover African culture

A scene from the film Musa, screened at the African Film Festival.


A scene from the film Musa, screened at the African Film Festival.

From the first film made by a woman in Djibouti to a story of rebellion in Cameroon, a film festival in Wellington this week will celebrate the powerful African women.

The African Film Festival, at the Light House Cuba cinema in Wellington, from Wednesday evening to November 8, will feature African directors, filmmakers and writers.

Festival founder Boubacar Coulibaly said the event was an opportunity for New Zealanders to be exposed to African culture.

The subjects of the film range from the complex history of the Ethiopian civil war to the ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania by four Nigerian women.

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New Zealand African Film Festival organizer Coulibaly Boubacar (right) and festival sponsor Gregory Fortuin.


New Zealand African Film Festival organizer Coulibaly Boubacar (right) and festival sponsor Gregory Fortuin.

After a film festival in Burkina Faso where Coulibaly met talented women eager to tell their stories, the Aucklanders sought to present their work to a New Zealand audience.

“Their point of view is unique, they have such a different way of telling stories.

“Women are always the first to suffer from a situation, they are at the forefront of any conflict or fight,” Coulibaly said.

The festival will screen 15 films, with a range of documentaries, short films, dramas, comedies and feature films.

The festival has been taking place in Auckland since 2015 and Wellington since 2017.

A film, Women Hold up the Sky, shows how women were the first affected by pollution, land loss and displacement in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa.

South African producer Connie Nagiah said the film was made with a predominantly female crew.

“This film shares the stories of the often silenced, ignored and erased perspectives of African women, whose experiences and struggles are part of a global story of rebellion and resistance against an unworkable, unjust economic, social and development paradigm. and not sustainable, ”Nagiah said. .

“It was a difficult exercise from the start because there aren’t many films on this subject made by and for Africans, or which tell a story from the perspective of grassroots African women.

“Women have progressively more access to spaces, to funding opportunities and are recognized for their contributions to the arts and cinema. As African women directors, we have many stories to tell about our continent in all its rich diversity. “

Another film, Dhalinyaro, was the first film directed by a woman in Djibouti, on the east coast of Africa.

Coulibaly could not choose his favorite but said that “Musa”, screened on opening night, particularly touched him.

“She is a rebellious young woman, breaking the rules and tradition in Cameroon, she fights for what she believes,” he said.

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