Inspired by the growing influence of China in some African countries, the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) has invited seven filmmakers from South Africa, Cameroon, Uganda, Rwanda, Congo and Angola to make films in China.
The African directors’ films will premiere, along with a contextual film programme, during the Rotterdam’s 40th edition. The programme, titled “Raiding Africa’, includes a film workshop produced by the IFFR in collaboration with the Li Xianting Film School in Beijing and supported by Rotterdam’s Hubert Bals Fund.
In 2009 the IFFR undertook an extensive research trip to countries in Eastern and Central Africa. The result was the IFFR 2010 “Forget Africa’ programme consisting of the African films found during the research and of thirteen commissioned films by international filmmakers presenting their first view on Africa. The IFFR did meet many young and talented directors who had learnt filmmaking in small initiatives or collectives. The reasons that they haven’t been picked up internationally were various, but mostly because of a lack of funding, no subtitling and no international network. The films the IFFR showed from these young filmmakers are now being picked up internationally.
The “Raiding Africa’ programme aims to stimulate the exchange of cultures, to support the careers of the African directors included in last year’s “Forget Africa’, to create a situation in which the Africans are informed about Asian independent low budget filmmaking and to allow them to work internationally. The filmmakers taking part are:
– Omelga Mthiyane, South-Africa (Thank You Mama)
– Emile-Aime Chah Yibain “Ancestor’, Cameroon (The Way to the Cross)
– Ssenkaaba Samson ‘Xenson’, Uganda (Creation Lab)
– Caroline Kamya, Uganda
– Yves Montand Niyongabo, Rwanda (Maibobo)
– Amour Sauveur, Congo-Brazzaville (Coupable)
– Henrique Narciso “Dito’, Angola (A guerra do Ku-Duro)
During the Li Xianting Film School workshop in Beijing the seven young African filmmakers will be teamed up with experienced Asian Chinese-speaking filmmakers. The mentors taking part are Chinese filmmakers Ying Liang (Taking Father Home) and Sheng Zhimin (Night of an Era), Beijing Film Academy teacher Zhang Xianmin, Tiger Award winning Thai filmmaker Anocha Suwichakornpong (Mundane History), Singaporean filmmaker Sherman Ong (Flooding in the Time of Drought) and China-based Dutch filmmaker David Verbeek (RU There).