Sderot, Last Exit

Director: Osvalde Lewat
Country: Cameroon, France and Belgium
Year: 2011
Running Time: 89 min.
Language: Arabic, English, French and Hebrew

last_exit2

The film school of Sderot, located in the south of Israel 2 km from the Gaza border, is a microcosm of daily life in the country. Jews, Muslims, Christians, Palestinians, Israelis, left-wing radicals and nationalists share classrooms but rarely opinions. Here, cinema isn’t just an artistic pursuit. It is a nakedly political act. This film school is a sociological laboratory, confronting complex paradoxical ideologies and political positioning. It is a place of cultural geopolitics, intent on redefining perceived boundaries.

Outside the Law / Hors la Loi

Director: Rachid Bouchareb
Country: France
Year: 2010
Running Time: 138 min.
Language: Arabic and French

outside-the-law-gangster

After losing their family home in Algeria, three brothers and their mother are scattered across the globe. Messaoud joins the French army fighting in Indochina; Abdelkader becomes a leader of the Algerian independence movement in France and Saïd moves to Paris to make his fortune in the shady clubs and boxing halls of Pigalle. Gradually, their interconnecting destinies reunite them in the French capital, where freedom is a battle to be fought and won.

Stocktown X: South Africa

Director: Benjamin Taft and Teddy Goitom
Country: South Africa
Year: 2010
Running Time: 29 min.
Language: English

stocktown para

Beyond the stereotypical daily reporting on violence, AIDS and safari tours, Swedish based directors Teddy Goitom and Benjamin Taft set out to capture the creative street vibes of South Africa. On their first stop to Capetown and Johannesburg , they meet up with the heavy metal band Ree-burth , The Soweto Style setters Smarteez with their colorful street savy fashion to video gamers label 2bop to the limpop music genre innovator Gazelle and many many more.

Man on Ground

Director: Akin Omotoso
Country: South Africa
Year: 2011
Running Time: 80 min.
Language: English, Zulu, Yoruba, and Sotho

Man_On_Ground_5

Ade and Femi are expatriate Nigerian brothers. Ade is a successful banker in London, while Femi, once a political dissident in his home country, has had to escape to South Africa, live in refugee tenements and work menial jobs. The brothers have not only been physically estranged, their relationship is riddled with unspoken betrayal, guilt and scorn, which they have carried since the early days of their youth. During a short visit to Johannesburg, Ade discovers that his brother has been missing for a week. He sets out to investigate Femi’s mysterious disappearance, reconstructing the pieces of his everyday life and the cruel hardships he endured just to survive. A riot erupts while Ade is visiting Femi’s former boss in one of the townships. Ade is forced to take shelter with the employer. The mounting violence outside seeps into their exchanges and, eventually, prompts an explosion of revelation.

Mama Africa

Director: Mika Kaurismäki
Country: Germany, South Africa, Finland
Year: 2011
Running Time: 90 min.
Language: English and French

Mama_Africa_04

Mika Kaurismäki’s documentary about world-famous South African singer Miriam Makeba, who spent half a century traveling the world spreading her political message to fight racism, poverty and promote justice and peace, is a tribute to a woman who embodied the hopes and the voice of Africa as no other. Miriam Makeba (1932-2008) was an inspiration to musicians all over the world and a delight for international audiences. Nonetheless she remained true to her South African musical roots. Forced into early exile in 1959 as a result of her involvement in the documentary indictment of Apartheid Come Back, Africa, Harry Belafonte helped her to gain entry to the USA where in 1962 she appeared at John F. Kennedy’s birthday party among other venues, and scored her first international hit with ‘Pata Pata’. Finding herself in the sights of the FBI following her marriage to Black Panther activist Stokely Carmichael in 1968, she decided to settle in Guinea where she continued to fight the white Apartheid regime in her native land. Making use of rare documentary footage and a plethora of interviews, this film portrays the life of this exceptional artiste and her music; a performer who, for more that fifty years, never failed to created a stir wherever she went. The film includes testimonials from friends, relatives and colleagues – both young proponents of African music as well as those who have known and cherished Miriam Makeba since her earliest beginnings in the dance halls of Cape Town.

Tales of the Night

Director: Michel Ocelot
Country: France
Year: 2011
Running Time: 84 min.
Language: French

talesofthenight para

Tales of the Night weaves together six exotic fables each unfolding in a unique locale, from Tibet, to medieval Europe, an Aztec kingdom, the African plains, and even the Land of the Dead. In Ocelot’s storytelling, history blends with fairytale as viewers are whisked off to enchanted lands full of dragons, werewolves, captive princesses, sorcerers, and enormous talking bees – and each fable ends with its own ironic twist.

Maami

Director: Tunde Kelani
Country: Nigeria
Year: 2010
Running Time: 97 min.
Language: English and Yoruba

maami1

Single parent, Maami, and her young son are desperately poor. Gifted with a living heart, enterprising spirit and brave soul, she is the center of her son’s world, until he longs for the father he has never known – a man with a terrible secret.

Set over a two-day period, leading to the 2010 World Cup, Maami is an inspiring story of a poor, conscientious single parent’s struggles to raise her only child, Kashimawo who eventually, rises to international stardom in an English football club, Arsenal, and becomes a national hero.

Adapted by Tunde Babalola, from Femi Osofisan’s novel of the same name, this film about love, perseverance and fate unfolds through Kashimawo’s reminiscences of his hardscrabble childhood in the southern Nigerian town, Abeokuta.

OUR AFRICA: Thousands of Kilometers of Soviet Film

 

Director: Alexander Markov
Country: 
Russia
Year: 
2012
Running Time: 
20 min.
Language: 
Russian

Markov-para

There are seven hundred documentary films catalogued under the keyword “Africa” in the Russian State Film and Photo Archive. In a certan sense, the relationship between the Soviet Union and Africa in the post-war period was one of pure cooperation. When the Soviet empire collapsed, however, Africa was completely forgotten.

In Darkest Hollywood: Cinema and Apartheid

Director: Peter Davis and Daniel Riesenfeld
Country: USA, Canada, and South Africa
Year: 1994
Running Time: 112 min.
Language: English

indarkesthollywood

Using a wealth of archival footage and commentary by filmmakers and actors, including a young John Kani and Miriam Makeba, this two-part film examines the role of cinema in both supporting and attacking Apartheid, focusing on the impact of Hollywood films in South Africa, the depiction of South Africa in Hollywood films, and finally, the emergence of an indigenous film industry in South Africa. It also questions Hollywood’s commitment to racial stereotypes and reluctance to depict black heroes.

South Africa/Soviet Newsreels

Director: Archival Footage
Country: 
USSR
Year: 
1954-1976
Running Time: 
8 min.
Language: 
Russian

The cases of apartheid in South Africa through the eye of Soviet newsreels.

Birth of Republic

Director: Archival Footage
Country: 
USSR
Year: 
1961
Running Time: 
25 min.
Language: 
Russian

March 18, 1962, city of Evian: signing of the agreement between the Provisional Government of the Republic of Algeria and the French government for a ceasefire and a referendum.

The Unseen Ones

Director: Kurt Orderson
Country: South Africa
Year: 2012
Running Time: 19 min.
Language: Afrikaans

unseen para

The film centers around 27-year old Leagan Davids, aka Nico10 long, a dispossessed youth from the township Wesbank/Delft struggling against the high crime rate, substandard schooling and unemployment on the Cape Flats while trying to raise his three-year daughter, Allevia. The Wesbank/Delft area where Niko10long and his daughter live is a RDP post-apartheid project established to be one of Cape Town’s first mixed race townships. The area made world news in 2008 when backyard dwellers, who occupied over 1000 newly built N2 Gateway houses, were violently evicted by police using rubber bullets. Niko10long’s lyrics reflect on his life experiences and the reality of injustice and social ills on the Cape Flats in poetic Afrikaans, giving a unique view into a world that often remains unseen unless as a crime focus in news bulletins. This is particularly evident in his first music video — which will also be screened at the launch — for the track, Vaderfiguur, in which he raps poetically about the daily reality of an unemployed father raising his daughter.

Fire in Babylon

Director: Stevan Riley
Country: UK
Year: 2010
Running Time: 87 min.
Language: English

fire in babylon1

Fire In Babylon is the breathtaking story of how the West Indies triumphed over its colonial masters through the achievements of one of the most gifted teams in sporting history.

In a turbulent era of apartheid in South Africa; race riots in England and civil unrest in the Caribbean, the West Indian cricketers, led by the enigmatic Viv Richards, struck a defiant blow at the forces of white prejudice worldwide. Their undisputed skill, combined with a fearless spirit, allowed them to dominate the genteel game at the highest level, replaying it on their own terms.

This is their story, told in their own words.

Up Your Black Arse!

Director: Aurélien Bodinaux
Country: Belgium
Year: 2012
Running Time: 14 min.
Language: French

Upyourblack para

In a Brussels retirement home, a Belgian and Congolese drink to their long lasting friendship. They argue over an old story. It’s one of broken dreams and wasted lives. Up Your Black Arse! stares into the colonial past to look into our present.

Elza / Le Bonheur d’Elza

Director: Mariette Monpierre
Country: France and Guadeloupe
Year: 2011
Running Time: 81 min.
Language: French

elza1

A single mother in Paris, Bernadette tried hard to give her daughters everything. She is thrilled when her eldest, Elza, the first college graduate in the family, completes her master’s degree. However, Elza breaks her mother’s heart by running away to their native Guadeloupe in search of a distant childhood memory: the father she barely remembers. This feature debut by writer/director Mariette Monpierre offers an unusual insider’s view of lush island culture as she captures the passion and contradictions of this family.

Where Do I Stand?

Director: Molly Blank
Country: South Africa
Year: 2010
Running Time: 40 min.
Language: English and Xhosa

Xenophobia Yamkela-and-Mom-Doing-HW

When xenophobic attacks broke out across South Africa in May 2008, many found themselves caught off guard, shocked by violence that felt like a violation of the principles of their newly democratic nation. Over two months, 62 people were killed, hundreds wounded and over a hundred thousand displaced. In the midst of this violence, many young people, clad in the bright greens and maroons of their school uniforms, looted neighborhood shops while some of their classmates, refugees themselves, fled to safer ground. Some youth tried to find a way to help, but still more stood by, watching from their windows or on television. Where Do I Stand? captures the optimistic voices of youth trying to make sense of what they experienced  and  how they carve out their own places in this complex and divided nation.

The Education of Auma Obama

Director: Branwen Okpako
Country: Germany
Year: 2011
Running Time: 79 min.
Language: English, German, Luo, and Swahili

Education-of-Auma-Obama-2

The Education of Auma Obama is a captivating and intimate portrait of U.S. president Barack Obama’s older half-sister, who embodies a post-colonial, feminist identity in her native Kenya. Nigerian-born director Branwen Okpako’s film also documents a generation of politically and socially engaged Africans whose aspirations are informed by their parents’ experiences, and whose ambition to forge a better future for their communities starts from the ground up.

Yoole, The Sacrifice

Director: Moussa Sène Absa
Country: Senegal
Year: 2010
Running Time: 75 min.
Language: English, French and Wolof

yoole para

In April 2006, a small boat was found drifting aimlessly along the eastern coast of Barbados. Local fishermen left the boat alone for many weeks, assuming it had something to do with drug smuggling. It later emerged that the boat contained the bodies of 11 Senegalese people who had set out to Europe four months earlier. In Senegal, it is not unusual for young people to embark in a rickety vessel in search of money and happiness in Europe or North America. Director Moussa Sene Absa is himself Senegalese, and was in Barbados when the boat was discovered. He returns to his homeland to explore the stories of the young men who risk the voyage. Surrounded by the slum dwellings and other dilapidated buildings in the ghetto, the young adults talk about poverty, hunger, politics and corruption, Western Union, and Western paradise. Archive footage of a party conference with Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, who represents the political elite, is interspersed with scenes featuring local songs, rap and poetry. Using a variety of rhythms and styles, Absa applies his own narrative method and succeeds in connecting individual stories to the sociopolitical situation. This yields a portrait of Senegalese youth and an impression of the consequences of the distance between themselves and the political elite.

The Dance of King David

Director: Axel Baumann
Country: Ethiopia and USA
Year: 2011
Running Time: 33 min.
Language: English and Amharic

The film is based on a dance King David performed in front of the Ark over 3000 years ago and which is still practiced today during the Jewish festival of Simchat Torah and the festival of Timkat in Ethiopia. The film is a beautiful journey through the ancient and modern worship of this object.

The Creators

Director: Laura Gamse and Jaques de Villiers
Country: South Africa
Year: 2012
Running Time: 83 min.
Language: Afrikaans, English, and Xhosa

the creators1

Step into the lives of six artists sculpting South Africa’s future from the fragments of a tumultuous past. Born in different areas of the formerly-segregated country, the artists separately recraft history — and the impacts of apartheid — in their own artistic languages. How does creative expression traverse the divide?

The Creators was shot and edited entirely by South Africans, the majority of whom were trained while on the job and now work professionally in South Africa’s burgeoning film industry.