All things Africa

It must be because the autumn is Festival Season – not only do we have two African themed festivals here in Ireland (Nollywood Film Festival, September and the Carlow African Film Festival, October) but there’s Film Africa in November in London (who have teamed up with Africa is a Country – smart move!), Africa in Motion in Edinburgh (Oct. 25th – Nov. 2nd), our special friends at the Cambridge African Film Festival (November) and further afield: Africa in the Picture (Amsterdam, October), the Cordoba African Film Festival (October) and many more.

How apt then that there is also quite a flurry of articles on Africa and Film –

Nollywood: Nigeria’s Mirror (published on Africa is a Country and printed by the Guardian)

“When Nollywood gets it right, there is something marvelous in having your stories told in a way that you can just lap up like syrup. Even when you know that the story has been badly told, you still want to know what comes next. There is a self-flattering in it for many Africans. And beyond that, people are generally looking for answers for questions that they don’t have answers to, and you can’t be too sure whether the next film might provide an answer.

People swallow it like gospel. In some African countries, when an original film star is visiting, you would think it is a head of state — and that is part of what makes it bothersome for me. Young people don’t get their own history told in the right way. In many Nollywood films, it is not about getting it right. It’s not about representation.”

Lights, camera, revolution – the birth of Libyan cinema after Gaddafi’s fall (from the Guardian)

There is now a cultural vacuum in Libya, as well as a political one, thanks to the Gaddaffi regime. “There was no film-making culture here at all under Gaddafi,” says Naziha Arebi, director of Granny’s Flags. “He didn’t want anybody to be more famous than him. Even the football players had just numbers on their shirts, because he didn’t want anyone to know their names. He certainly wasn’t going to let anybody be a film director.”

Ten best African Films – well …. what do you think?

(in fact, the Guardian has a new ‘Africa Blog‘, featuring a number of writers from different African countries and the African Diaspora – well worth checking out!