Under the artistic direction of Alex Moussa Sawadogo, the film festival AFRIKAMERA – CURRENT CINEMA FROM AFRICA presents a programme at the Humboldt Forum for the second time. The focus is on productions that reflect urban Africa and its cultural identity on film. In addition to German premieres, the Humboldt Forum Foundation will present comedic formats such as the short film reel AFRICAN SHORTS – LAUGH IS POSSIBLE, the youth programme AFRICA RIDING, a theatre performance, VR productions and the panel The Art of Collaboration at the Berlin Schloss from 10 to 13 November 22. In cooperation with SUNSHINE CINEMA (South Africa), CINEMA SPACES NETWORK will show a selection of short films in the foyer. Numerous filmmakers will be on hand for talks.
Image above: © AFRIKAMERA 2022
Whether festivals or regular film screenings as part of larger focal themes: Since its opening, the Humboldt Forum has developed into a place for film lovers. Especially with the film festival AFRIKAMERA, as well as the CINEMA SPACES NETWORK and the newly launched series BOX OFFICE AROUND THE WORLD, international film has an important place in the Humboldt Forum. As part of its 15th edition, AFRIKAMERA is presenting a programme at the Humboldt Forum for the second time, commissioned by the Humboldt Forum Foundation in the Berlin Palace. The programme is curated by Alex Moussa Sawadogo. He is also the director of the FESPACO film festival in Burkina Faso, one of the most renowned film festivals on the African continent.
The AFRIKAMERA programme at the Humboldt Forum opens with a theatre production by the Burkinabe actress Roukiata Ouédraogo. In her solo JE DEMANDE LA ROUTE, she lets the audience share her adventurous journey of initiation from the suburbs of Ouagadougou to the Château-Rouge district in Paris and tells with much humour and self-irony about her life in the French diaspora, which led her from odd jobs as a cashier and hairdresser to the stage of the Théâtre de l’Œuvre.
The drama FATHER’S DAY by Kivu Ruhorahoza (Rwanda) tells three interwoven stories set in the East African country against the backdrop of genocide, but without naming it. A mother tries to cope with the loss of her only son, a young woman cares for her bedridden father and prepares for an organ donation, a young boy wanders the city with his father, a petty criminal with poor impulse control.
In current cinema from Africa, comedic works have received little attention so far. As a cultural technique, humour and mockery, also of folk origin, unfold their identity-forming power, strengthen social cohesion and become the subject of artistic production. The short film reel AFRICAN SHORTS – LAUGH IS POSSIBLE is a compilation of four comedic formats from Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In Keni Ogunlola’s LODGERS (Nigeria / Great Britain 2016 / 23 min. / OmeU), two Nigerian professionals decide to move to England. They are ambitious and a little arrogant and believe that their home diplomas will open up a great professional future for them in their new place of residence. The reality, however, turns out to be a little more complicated…. Director Keni Ogunlola will be on hand for a Q&A.
In NIGHT SHIFT (Egypt 2020 / 14 min. / OmeU), a short film by Egyptian director Karim Shabaan, a caller at night completely upsets the twenty-year-old call centre employee Zain.
Marcus Onalundula’s latest short film is about erotic entanglements.
In ABOULA NGANDO (DR Congo / France 2021 / 20 min. / OmeU), the eponymous protagonist cheats on his wife with another woman – when he finally returns home, he experiences a big surprise …
In SUNGURA (Kenya 2019 / 20 min. / OmeU) by Lydia Matata, a young wheelchair user is confronted with the prejudice that she cannot have sex because of her disability. When she wants to buy a vibrator from a sexologist at a bridal shower, turbulence ensues. The director is present at the screening.
With the polygamy comedy BAL POUSSIÈRE (Ivory Coast / France 1988, 88 min. / OmeU) by Henri Duparc, AFRIKAMERA presents a classic of the genre. Demi-dieu (demigod) is a wealthy farmer and village chief with five wives. When he decides to marry a sixth wife, young Binta, in order to have a spouse for every day of the week (except Sunday, the day of rest), his five other wives become dissatisfied. Ivorian director Henri Duparc humorously invites the audience to reflect on ingrained habits and social change and to practice a reflection in self-criticism. Henriette Duparc, film producer and member of the Fondation Henri Duparc, will be present for the screening.
In the public discourse rounds “THE ART OF COLLABORATION – Migration & Diaspora”, African and European filmmakers and multipliers deal with questions around (Afro)-diasporic filmmaking. Questions about identities, narratives and backgrounds and the mutual influence of the diasporic community and the majority society on the language of film will be raised, and cooperation and networks for transnational filmmaking will be examined. Connected to this are discussions about which stories diasporic filmmakers want to tell or are able to tell in their films. Production and financing possibilities and the current challenges in connection with co-productions in transnational cinema will be discussed at the round table.
The festival Saturday closes with Adolf El Assal’s tragicomedy SAWAH (Egypt / Belgium / Luxembourg 2019 / 83 min. / OmU). SAWAH tells of the odyssey of the young Egyptian DJ Samir, whose plane is suddenly diverted to Luxembourg due to a strike on his way to a DJ festival from Cairo to Brussels. There, the streak of bad luck continues: After losing his luggage and papers, Samir gets stuck in the airport and is mistaken for a refugee, while a revolution breaks out in his home country…
With AFRICA RIDING (France 2018), AFRIKAMERA presents a youth programme with guests for the second time. The documentary series by Liz Gomis and Aurélien Biette, from which a selection of five episodes will be shown, follows different communities of riders – skateboarders, roller skaters, bikers – in Accra (Ghana), Kigali (Rwanda), Dakar (Senegal) and Kampala (Uganda). Performances and talks with Liz Gomis and other guests are also part of the programme (free admission).
Curated by Florian Wachinger (AFRIKAMERA), a virtual reality lounge with current 360-degree productions on this year’s thematic focus Urban Africa, Urban Movies: Migration & Diaspora will be set up daily from 10 am to 8 pm in the large foyer during the opening hours of the Humboldt Forum to accompany the festival programme. Admission is free.
In cooperation with AFRIKAMERA, the SUNSHINE CINEMA initiative (South Africa), as part of the CINEMA SPACES NETWORK, will also present two SUN BOXES in the Mechanical Arena in the large foyer every day from 12 noon to 8 p.m. during the festival, featuring a selection of short films and presenting the work of the Cinema Spaces Network. SUPER SOLAR POWERED ACTIONS! is curated by Manyatta Screenings (Kenya) and accompanied by live interactions of the SUNSHINE AMBASSADORS, who talk about their cinema work in South Africa (free admission).
One house, four actors: the polyphony is already inherent in the cooperation of the partners. At the Humboldt Forum, the Humboldt Forum Foundation in the Berlin Palace, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation with the collections of the Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Art of the National Museums in Berlin, the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin with the Humboldt Laboratory and the Stadtmuseum Berlin with the Berlin exhibition BERLIN GLOBAL.
10. November until 13. November 2022