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MovieGlobe: African Cinema 2012


Former Ottomans, Pharaohs Court Black Mama
2012 must be a landmark year for African cinema!
Soon after the Istanbul Modern screening of African films in January, The first edition of
the Luxor African Film Festival (AFF) took place on Feb. 18th – 28th, 2012 in Luxor, Egypt.
Both festivities had in common a private and independent nature;
away from beaurocracies of governments! They both shared the declared goals of seeking alternative film screening platforms and building of capacities and networking. The Istanbul Modern is a movie theater that is part of the İstanbul Museum of Modern Art, Turkey’s first private museum which was founded in 2004, and has become a multipurpose cultural center on the shores of the Bosphorus.
Just in case you are visiting Turkey, screenings are free of charge for museum visitors and members!
The Egyptian festival of Luxor has made sure steps toward becoming a major festival in Africa in terms of the large number of African movies screened, ranging between short documentaries to long feature films.
It was run by the Independent Shabab Foundation (ISf), a non-profit organization registered in 2006 in Egypt. ISF started working on the festival since mid 2010 and the fruits of their efforts resulted in numerous partnerships ranging from the Ministry of Culture in Egypt to International networks.
The striking feature at the festival in Luxor was the presence of female African filmmakers who competed (with men) and won the gold such as Kenya's director Hua Othman, who won the Grand Nile prize for her film (Soul Boy). The other lady was the Sudanese African director Tagreed Sanhouri for her film (Sudan Habibtna, Our Beloved Sudan).
It was also noteworthy that the festival chose the Ethiopian film (Teza), directed by Ethiopian Haile Gerima to be displayed in the opening ceremony. In his speech, Gerima skipped more recent dictators (Sadat and Mubark) to praise the role of Nasser and consider him one of the milestones in the march for freedom in Africa, a gesture of gratitude and recognition from the Ethiopian artist who seemed cognizant of the changes in policies to
the worse in the era of Nasser's successors who favored the rich and the elite and denied the artists the support of the state!
A scene from Kenyan "Soul Boy" from Africa Review
The ISF were able to collect about a hundred thousand dollars for their prizes and were
also very keen in appearing quite independent from any state support in their festival.
This appeared to match well with the distinct African art which was characterized by  simplicity in production. Hua Osman had adopted local materials and featured ordinary children and youths to create a promising work of art.
Dr. Mahir Saul at the African Film Festival in Istanbul
Photo by Emrah Gürel / Hurriyet Daily News
What happened in early 2012 was the first-ever African cinema series in Turkey. It was the brain-child of a professor who has done fieldwork in Istanbul's Afro-Turk population and has deep knowledge of African filmography. Writes Khaled Halhoul in the utne web site: He (the professor) wanted to debunk stereotypes about Africa. “It’s important to show these films, by Africans, proving the vast intellectualism that exists there, beyond just ethnographical documentaries, but rather avant-garde works that enrich our knowledge,” said the professor, Dr. Mahir Saul. 
Saul showcased 10 movies. Faat Kine (Senegal) Waiting for Happiness (Mauritius) The Bloodiest or Les Saignantes () The Wind (FINYÉ) Souleymane Cissé (Mali) The Law
(Tilaï) Idrissa Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso)Karmen Geï Joseph Gaï Ramaka (Senegal)
Dry Season (Daratt) Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Chad) and other movies.
My courtesy goes to Khaled Halhoul at this web site:
http://www.utne.com/african-cinema-shift-cultural-perceptions.aspx

Below are some African clips.
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