We told you all about the upcoming Lights, Camera, Africa Film Festival. And as the date draws closer and we all grow more excited, we’ve made a list of all the movies we’re most excited to see:
1- The Sense of Touch
Chloe and Louis are deaf and mute. They are secretly in love but they don’t admit it. Their gestures substitute for words. They dance, each word is choreography!
Dir. Jean-Charles Mbotti Mololo, France/Switzerland, 2014, 15min
2- Too Black to be French?
In this documentary film, Isabelle Boni-Claverie explores the role of race and the persistence of racism in France, as well as the impact of the French colonial past. Through an exploration of her personal family history, and interviews with historians and academics, TOO BLACK TO BE FRENCH peels back the layers of race relations in supposedly institutionally colourblind France. Boni-Claverie, a French-Ivorian, who grew up in upper class French society, unpacks how socio-economic privilege doesn’t mean protection from racial discrimination. She solicits anonymous individuals to speak on their daily experiences with race, class, discrimination and micro-aggressions. The film also features interviews with acclaimed sociologists and historians including Pap Ndiaye, Eric Fassin, Achille Mbembe, and Patrick Simon to help contextualize racial history in France. Boni-Claverie’s film starts an urgent discussion on French society’s inequalities and discrimination.
Dir.Isabelle Boni-Claverie, France/Cote d’Ivoire, 2015, 52 min
3- No Good Turn
A gruesome Boko Haram terrorist attack has destroyed the bank, the police station and the market of a small town in Northern Nigeria. In charge of the overcrowded ER of a rundown hospital, Dr. Gbenga and his staff are doing all they can to help the victims, when a young man suspected to be one of the terrorists is brought in. The town’s Chief of Police demands immediate jungle justice but Gbenga must keep everyone’s values in check especially his own.
Dir. Udoka Oyeka, Nigeria, 2016, 17 min
4- New York, I Love You
Viviane is a neurotic, struggling actress given to childish flights of fancy–like moving to LA on a whim to revive her dwindling career. But can she leave New York and Kazembe, the love of her life, behind?
Dir. Iquo B. Essien, USA, 2016, 21 min
5- Intore (The Chosen)
Intore is a story of triumph, survival, hope, and a lesson in how to forgive and live, through a mother whose grief gives hope; an artist who chose to forgive; a maestro who brings together the National Ballet; and a young man’s determination. Through these characters and others, viewers will witness how the nation rose from a horrific genocide to post-conflict peace and unity. The film features music performances from Rwanda’s top traditional and commercial artists in music and dance, interwoven with poignant interviews.
Dir. Eric Kabera, Rwanda, 2014, 64 min
6- Green White Green
A group of young bohemian artists hang out and search for direction in their lives in the stagnant months leading up to the beginning of their university studies, in this richly textured and frequently funny look at Lagos’ new generation. Hip, modern, and bursting with creative energy, this is the look of young Lagos. Uzoma and his friends are on the cusp of adulthood, feeling directionless in those stagnant months before the beginning of their university studies. They spend their days playing videogames or competing in impromptu yab-offs, improvised insult matches where the quip that gets the most laughs determines the winner. They’re conscious of the varied cultures of Nigeria’s Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba ethnic groups, but they’re as likely to play those for laughs as for beef. These young bohemians are also artists: painters and filmmakers looking to hone their crafts and tap into their own reservoirs of inspiration. Self-taught painter Uzoma struggles to sell his work on the street, and will readily wait all day at a local art gallery for a chance to speak with the owner. Baba experiments with his first short film, even if the set is just his own backyard. If inexperience is a barrier, then persistence and fearless ambition are their secret weapons. It’s a can-do way of life that feels perfectly Lagosian; these guys are right at home in this city whose population of 21 million is always on the go. Richly textured, funny, and a bit cheeky, Green White Green presents a cityscape reminiscent of a Spike Lee joint, with its vivid colours and vivacious inhabitants.
Dir. Abba Makama, Nigeria, 2016, 102 min
7- Gidi Blues
Akin is an indulged playboy from an affluent family who accidentally meets an interesting beauty in an unpredictable place. Nkem is a beautiful, confident but unusual young lady who devotes herself to her work as a community volunteer in the belly of the city’s worst slum. Their encounter drags them both into a whirlwind experience that unravels their world.
Dir. Femi Odugbemi, Nigeria, 2016, 103 min
8- Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughi (Rain, the Colour of Blue with a little Red in it)
Akounak tells the universal story of a musician trying to make it against all odds, set against the backdrop of the raucous subculture of Tuareg guitar. The protagonist, real life musician Mdou Moctar, must battle fierce competition from jealous musicians, overcome family conflicts, endure the trials of love, and overcome his biggest rival – himself. Stylistically borrowing from the Western rock-u-drama and a homage to Purple Rain, the story was written with and for a Tuareg audience, drawing from experiences of Mdou Moctar and fellow musicians. Carried by stunning musical performances from Mdou, the film is equally a window into modern day Tuareg guitar in the city of Agadez as it is an experiment in modern ethnographic filmmaking and new techniques of cross cultural collaboration.
Dir. Christopher Kirkley, Niger, 2015, 75 min
Lights, Camera, Africa 2016 is from the 30th of September (that’s this Friday!) to the 2nd- you don’t want to miss it!