A Word From Our Curators
We are pleased to introduce the Film Africa 2020 programme – an eclectic collection of films, to be screened in cinemas and online. COVID-19 has disrupted the entire world and the film festival space is no exception. We hope and trust that this year’s Film Africa experience will still be one of community and sharing, in the cinemas and online at home with friends and family.
The selection mirrors the combined minds and sensibilities of three curators. Based in three corners of Africa; Ghana in the west, Kenya in the east and South Africa in the south. The films – feature-length and shorts; fiction and documentary – reflect a multitude of experiences, subject matters and styles, with stories unfolding on the African continent as well as in its Diaspora.
The filmmakers represented in the 2020 selection address new and old concerns, each in their own distinct and unique voice, with empathy, and in ways, that both reflect and stimulate boundless imagination. There are films that speak of secrets, taboos, of painful memories and unhealed wounds, at individual, family and community levels.
Belonging (acknowledged and contested) is a recurring theme and so is the inseparable issue of land. Land, in life and in this selection, represents identity, a place to rest (for the living as well as for the dead) and a crucial source for sustenance and survival. Migration in all its complexity is also tackled, including planned departures that never happen; travellers who never reached their destination; family separation, reunification; and the precarious existence of exile, be it as documented or undocumented immigrants in a foreign space.
The 2020 film programme showcases a powerful blend of existential concerns in very real settings, where the sociopolitical circumstances impact the lives of human beings, but never out shadow them or define and determine who they are in the world.
These stories, while showcasing a plethora of ways in which human beings cause each other harm – willingly and unwillingly – are also a testament to human resilience and self-actualization; to our ability to forgive, love and support one another.
We would like to thank Film Africa for the confidence and each other for the joyous collaboration. We wish everyone a wonderful, thrilling, thought-provoking and comforting time at the movies and at home.
Katarina Hedrén in Johannesburg
Aseye Tamakloe in Accra
Nyambura M.Waruingi in Nairobi