African Metropolis is a compilation of six short fiction films, set in six major African
cities. Intended as a unique partnership towards new African cinema, the
project was made possible by Goethe-Institut, in partnership with executive
producer Steven Markovitz.
The films from Abidjan, Cairo, Dakar, Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi tell urban
tales about life in African metropolises. The purpose of the project was to
present stories that go against the norm of what the world expects to see from
Africa – rural settings, war and disaster – and present a fresh new take from
young filmmakers in an urban setting. Proposals from all over Africa were sent to
the producers in response to the brief. “There is a crisis of perception in the
world’s understanding of our continent,’ Markovitz says, “and that is a problem
that will take an entire generation of filmmakers to solve. We wanted African
Metropolis to help make a start to that process.’
Over 50 percent of the continent’s total population now lives in cities and vital
urban cultures are forming and transforming – fast, and with growing
In African cinema, the shift is towards urban stories, with less focus on the
traditional, rural Africa that dominated in the past. The stories presented in
African Metropolis present fresh, highly personal views of life in the respective
cities. Although the political and social settings provide backgrounds for the
stories, they are not the focus of the stories, which deal with individual
narratives and challenges amid the peculiarities of urban living.
The African Metropolis Short Film Project is an initiative of the Goethe-Institut
South Africa and Steven Markovitz, with support from Guaranty Trust Bank and
the Hubert Bals Fund of International Film Festival Rotterdam.
The project will screen as a single feature presentation, starting at The
Bioscope, Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg, on Friday 9 May 2014.
Every 20th online ticket purchased will receive the African Metropolis DVD!!