The second edition of Colours of the Nile International Film Festival (CONIFF) launched today, Monday, 24 March 2014 highlighting 48 African film offerings from around the continent, all of which will be African, East African or Ethiopian premieres from African directors or producers.
The festival has competitive categories for features, documentaries and short films, with ten awards up for grabs, including The Great Nile Award for Best Feature Film Director.
The feature selection of 11 films spans a number of debut features:
- Chika Anadu's B for Boy,
- Kenneth Gyang's Confusion Na Wa,
- Soussaba Cisse's Rumours of War,
- David Tosh Gitonga's Narobi Half Life,
- Shams Bhanji's Zamora
- Lincino Azavedo's Virgin Margarida;
- Moussa Toure's La Pirogue;
- Ntshaveheni Wa Luruli (Elelwani) and Judy Kibinge's Something Necessary.
The list is completed with the Second feature from Ethiopian Director Yidnekachew Shumete, Nishan.
"The festival provides an opportunity to showcase some of the latest films by African filmmakers in its competition sections and to introduce audiences also to older films that they may not have had the opportunity to see, out of competition, including a country focus this year inviting the audience to look back at some of the films from the post-apartheid South Africa, a country which has had a very unique journey of renewal," says June Givanni, the artistic director of the festival.
Lineup of documentaries
The lineup of seven documentaries in competition includes both of the films which are from North Africa in this festival: Bout de Vie: Bout de Reve (Algeria/France) and Boxing with Her (Tunisia) presenting unusual and radical perspectives of the world. All of the films in this section were made in the last two years. Here again, established names of Jean Marie Teno (Leaf in The Wind), William Mbye (President Dia) rub shoulders with the rising stars such as Mati Diop; Lovinsa Kavuma; and Shannon Walsh & Arya Lalloo (Jeppe on a Friday).
The short films competition contains 14 films which were all made in the last 12 months and which provide a kaleidoscopic vision of images, sounds and stories of the continent that will provide audiences with a real treat. The section included five films which have resulted from the Focus Features Africa First Short Film Programme, Twagga,Security, Adamt, Kwaku Ananse, and Berea.
The range of genres and styles attest to the fact that the skills and ambitions of young filmmakers remain as varied and ambitious powered with a Renaissance vision and spirit.
Country focus section
In its country focus section dedicated fully to South African cinema this year, CONIFF programmed a tribute to Nelson Mandela - Madiba, the Great Man of Peace who has marked humanity. Nelson Mandela: "The Struggle Is My Life" by the ANC member Lionel Ngakane will be one of the films to be screened in this section. Oliver Schmitz's Hijack Stories and Mapantusla, Zola Maseko's Drum and Madoda Ncayiyana's Izulu Lami are the other films screened in the South African focus together with a documentary by David Forbes, The Cradock four.
The non-competitive section of the festival "Best of the Rest" includes a retrospective of the works of Newton Aduaka and an important 'Mockumentary' by Cameroun Director Jean-Pierre Bekolo that sets a challenge to spirit of Renaissance (The President). The feature Kinshasa Kids by Marc-Henri Wajnberg and three engaging documentaries Creativity in Exile: Joy its Nina; and Messages by Music that are linked in their expressions of migration and PanAfricanism, complete the out of competition section.
Shifting paradigm in African cinema
"Our selection captures the shifting paradigm in African cinema that is brought forward by extremely talented young African filmmakers. At the same time the festival upholds and celebrates the extraordinary work of established names of African cinema. This flavour opens a new window to dive into the captivating yet unexplored world of African cinema," says Abraham Haile Biru, CONIFF's founder and president.
Oliver Smitz's film Life above All will open the festival.
The second edition of Colours of the Nile International Film Festival is organised by Blue Nile Film and Television Academy in partnership with the Ethiopian Filmmakers Association. The festival is made possible with the support of the European Union, Institut Francais, UNESCO, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, Alliance Ethio-française d'Addis-Abeba, Embassy of the Republic of France in Addis Ababa, Embassy of the Republic of France in Kenya, The Italian Cultural Institute, Timret Lehiwot Ethiopia, W/Loul Travel and Tour, Reporter News Paper, KETA Printers Plc and Leyu Design.