AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

FILM

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Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

5 Questions for a Filmmaker… Dani Kouyaté

In 1995 filmmaker and griot Dani Kouyaté won the Golden Stallion – The award for Best First Film at the pan-African film festival FESPACO – for his first feature Keïta! The Heritage of the Griot. He has since made three more feature films in addition to directing for TV and the stage as well as

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Film Review: ‘100% Dakar–More than Art’

Dakar has long been hailed as a center of African visual arts since President Leopold Senghor hosted the World Festival of Negro Arts in 1966. More recently African Artists and art enthusiasts descend onto the city for...

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

How do we talk about the memory of Apartheid

In 1966 the South African government declared District Six—a high-density, mostly coloured residential area intrinsic to the fabric of downtown Cape Town for at least a century and situated on prime land beneath Table Mountain —to be...

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

The great Thomas Sankara was murdered on this day 27 years ago

It is the 27th anniversary of the death of Thomas Sankara, and once again we mark the passing of one of the great leaders of the Twentieth Century. Sankara was a Marxist revolutionary in the last years of the...

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

5 Questions for a Filmmaker … Jahmil X.T. Qubeka

The South African filmmaker and screenwriter Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, who made his feature film directorial debut with the stylish noir, “A Small Town Called Descent“. has over a decade long career spanning an entire spectrum of styles...

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

5 Questions for a Filmmaker … Moussa Sene Absa

Moussa Sene Absa is a Senegalese filmmaker, artist and songwriter. What is your first film memory? It happened during the school holidays the year I turned ten in 1968. As a reward for my good grades my...

Monday, October 6th, 2014

A museum in the middle of the street

Three towering moko jumbies stroll up behind the stage, as if on cue, dressed in suits of glow-in-the-dark yellow and electric blue. The sun is setting on the second and final day of ChaleWote, Accra’s annual street...

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Edition: Dakar

In June of 2014, My Africa Is decided to dive into Dakar, Senegal, a rarely talked about city on the West Coast of Africa. (We focused on Lagos, Nigeria in Season One). Dakar not only boast an...

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

5 Questions for a Filmmaker … Lodi Matsetela

Lodi Matsetela is a former copywriter cum a seasoned scriptwriter, director and a partner in Puo Pha Productions with Makgano Mamabolo. She has worked as a writer on many award-winning South African TV-series. She is the co-creator of...

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Egypt has a sexual harassment problem. Two young women decided to make a film about it

Both domestically and abroad, the issue of sexual harassment has been called a sickness in Egyptian society. Abroad what had previously been framed mostly as an annoyance for female tourists was thrust into the spotlight in 2011...

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

5 Questions for a filmmaker … Taghreed Elsanhouri

Taghreed Elsanhouri directed the first Sudanese film to be screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, “All about Darfur,” in 2005. That same year the film also won the Chairperson’s Prize at the Zanzibar International Film Festival...

Monday, September 15th, 2014

New film, “Beats of the Antonov,” unlike anything I have ever seen

Every now and then, its seems as if there is nothing new out there. Everything seems derivative, repetitive or just plain bland. As a filmmaker, I sometimes go through moments of extreme lack of inspiration; and even...

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

The Redemption Trope in South African Cinema

Come Back Africa (dir. Lionel Rogosin), Mapantsula (dir. Oliver Schmitz) and Tsotsi (dir. Gavin Hood) mark three distinct eras in South African cinema. The oldest of the three, Come Back Africa, shot secretly in the late 1950s,...

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

James Matthews being James Matthews

The film, Diaries of a Dissident Poet, follows poet James Matthews around Cape Town, tracking him during a year, from his 83rd to 84th birthday. It opens with a small celebration of his 83rd at the District...

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

5 Questions for a Filmmaker… Akin Omotoso

Award-winning South African/Nigerian filmmaker Akin Omotoso is the director of the feature films “Man on Ground” and “God Is African“, the documentaries “Wole Soyinka – Child of the Forest,” “Gathering the Scattered Cousins” and the short “Jesus...

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Live from Grahamstown

Every winter, for 11 days in early July,  the sleepy South African college town of Grahamstown comes alive with art. Artists from all over the world swarm to the tiny town, and every nook and cranny is packed...

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

The film about the small businessman who took on the bread cartel

“Crumbs–Toppling the Bread Cartel” is the inside story of a Cape Town businessman, Imraahn Mukaddam’s fight for social justice and the personal cost of blowing the whistle on corporate greed.  To fill you in: in late 2006...

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Film Review: “The Good Man” and relegating good intentions to the dustbin

In Chicago literary scholar Lauren Berlant’s formulation, cruel optimism describes an object of desire that is, in her words, “actually an obstacle to your flourishing.” This optimism becomes cruel, she explains, “when the object that draws your...

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Shooting Lagos

In February of 2013, I made a hurried decision to head to Lagos, in an attempt to shoot a pilot season for My Africa Is,  an ongoing web documentary series, that aims to dispute the one dimensional...

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Pretoria’s Forgotten Hip-Hop Scene

In 2010, documentary filmmaker Sara Chitambo packed up five years’ worth of life in Cape Town and relocated to the eGoli, ePitori to be precise. Among her long list of priorities was to immerse herself the Pretoria...

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Film: Guerilla-Core or Militant Image? On Göran Olsson’s ‘Concerning Violence’

How do you tell a story about African liberation through the lens of an outsider? Concerning Violence: Nine Scenes from the Anti-Imperialistic Self-Defense, the 2014 documentary by Swedish filmmaker Göran Olsson, attempts to answer this question through presenting...

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Film: Vivian Maier’s 100,000 photographs

Vivian Maier, the nanny turned street photographer, who has found fame posthumously, now a subject of the documentary ‘Finding Vivian Maier’ (trailer below), was a recluse in the exaggerated form.  With a recluse like the film director,...

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Why we made a film about the images and myths that cast a continent as a victim

We’re making the documentary film, FRAMED, because we recognize a lot of Americans want to do good in Africa, with the best of intentions, but the way they go about it often doesn’t play out well for...

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Review: The Square by Jehane Noujaim

The 16th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival opened on Wednesday with The Square, Jehane Noujaim’s documentary about the Egyptian Revolution. The film (available in the US on Netflix) holds the title of being the first Egyptian...

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Louis Henderson’s delicate journey through a real and virtual contemporary Ghana

Lettres du Voyant is a 40 minutes film made by Louis Henderson, a British filmmaker and artist. I met him during a dinner at Berlinale Talents last January, we had a fast chit-chat and after a couple...

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Adam Sandler’s “Africa” (late night TV talk shows can’t get enough of it)

Just based on the trailer alone, it was safe to predict that “Blended,” the comedy starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore about two single parents who after a dismal first date, magically end up on vacation at the...

Friday, May 30th, 2014

“Miners Shot Down;” a haunting and emotional documentary

When Mzoxolo Magidiwana, a miner from Marikana in South Africa’s Northwest Province, traces his family lineage of miners at Lonmin Mines, he invokes in me memories of how I narrowly escaped becoming a miner, breaking the lineage...

Friday, May 30th, 2014

What’s in the future for Lamu on Kenya’s Coast

Lamu Old Town is an ancient, bustling city of palm trees and artisans and stories, where trades and traditions are passed down from generation to generation largely unchanged. Acting as a trading hub for centuries, the archipelago’s...

Monday, May 26th, 2014

‘Aya of Yop City': Graphic Novel to Film

“Aya of Yop City” is Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie’s first feature film and an adaptation of the couple’s best-selling graphic novel series of the same name. Like the graphic novels, the film tells the story of Aya, a...

Monday, May 26th, 2014

The Fader goes to Cape Town

So I’ve been following the Sprite Obey You Collective video series on The Fader website. They have been profiling some young South Africans doing great things. I liked the idea. I saw the Okmaloomkat clip. I liked...

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