Back to IndieWire

An African Film Festival Grows… In Tokyo, Japan (Mission, 2013 Lineup, Dates, More)

An African Film Festival Grows... In Tokyo, Japan (Mission, 2013 Lineup, Dates, More)

Cinema Africa is a nonprofit organization in Tokyo, Japan, established in 2006, with a published mission to “develop
understanding and appreciation of Africa in Japan through African films made by African filmmakers or

The organizers claim that Cinema Africa in Tokyo is the only African film festival in
Asia and the Pacific region, and they also recently started distribution of the films to non-profit organizations,
non-governmental organizations, and municipalities in the East Asian island nation.
Today, we can see many films focusing on Africa, or filmed in Africa. But what we want to bring to you is the true voice of Africa, and not the films about Africa made in Hollywood or western media. Therefore, we basically introduce African films made by African filmmakers/producers through their own perspectives, which is the only way for us to learn about them. We cannot just sit and wait in front of our desks, or play with Google to capture the REAL Africa today. Or, we cannot just wait for major film festivals in Europe or US to make their own pick of ‘best’ African films. We would like to tell Japanese people what WE found in Africa. We try to go as many times as possible to Africa to attend African film festivals, held in such places as Burkina Faso, South Africa, Zanzibar, Rwanda, etc, to see with our own eyes and collect the latest films.
Well then; can’t knock their spirited intentions, right?
Miho Yoshida is the director of the festival. In 2006, she established Cinema Africa and has organized film festivals in Tokyo and its surroundings. She also works for many African cultural events in Tokyo and writes regularly on African cinema.
This year’s event runs from May 18 – 23, and the lineup of features, docs and shorts, includes several titles previously covered on this blog, like 2 films by Kunle Afolayan: romantic comedy Phone Swap, as well thriller The Figurine. Also docs on Ousmane Sembene and Wole Soyinka, amongst others. And shorts films like Wanuri Kanuri’s sci-fi Pumzi.
More from the lineup, lifted directly from the festival’s website, below:

Phone Swap

Phone Swap (Drama / Comedy / 110 min / Nigeria / 2012 / director Kunle Afolayan)


The Figurine / Araromire (Drama / Thriller / 120 minutes / Nigeria / 2010 / director Kunle Afolayan)

Africa Paradise

Africa Paradise / AFRICA PARADIS (Drama / 85 min / Benin-France / 2007 / director Silvestre AMS)

United Africa / Africa United

United Africa / Africa United (Drama / 90 min / UK · South African Rwanda / 2008 / director Debs Gardner-Paterson)


TEZA ★ Fespaco Best Picture in 2009 (Drama / 140 min / Ethiopia, Germany, France / 2008 / director Haile Gerima)


Warrior (Feature Drama / 140 min / Eritrea / 2007 / director Zerai-Misugun)

[Documentary film]


Creation in Exile: Five Filmmakers in Conversation (Documentary / 53 min / France / 2012 / director Daniela Rich)


O Sembene! / O Sembene! ★ “Father of African cinema★ (Documentary / 56 min / 2012 / Mali / director Souleymane Cisse)


CINEMA IN SUDAN: CONVERSATION WITH GADALLA GUBARA (Documentary / 52 min / 2008 / Director Frederick Shifuentesu)


WOLE SOYINKA: CHILD OF THE FOREST (Documentary / 52 minutes / South Africa / 2009 / director Akin Omotoso ·)


CUBA: AN AFRICAN ODYSSEY (Documentary / France-Egypt / 2007 / director Jehan El Tari)

[Short Film]


PUMZI ★ Cannes Independent Best short film award (Short / 20 min / South African Kenya / 2009 / director Wanuri-Kahiu)

Nous aussi avons marche sur la lune

We also walked on the moon (Short / 16 min / Belgium · DR Congo / 2010 / director Balkh, Bakupa-Kaninda)

See it addressed

FORA (Short / 7 minutes / Rwanda / 2009 / director Ayoub, Kasassa grandchild)


Elvis Presley / Rockamilley of Uganda (Short / 17 minutes / Uganda / 2004 / director Caroline Kamuya)

Mr Cato

The Dancing Wizard (Short / 10 min / Uganda / 2004 / director Caroline Kamuya)

This Article is related to: News


(mulekia garizimo)biju garizim

je veux participe au festival
filme afrique au tritre de futur des enfants (HD)

floyd webb

Since 1980 the movement of African Cinema has been building. This year the Chicago FilmFestival is has a Focus on Africa program in October. Chicago has been a prime market for new African Cinema since 1982 when the Blacklight Film Festival started. The tradition of screening new African works continues with Black World Cinema in 2005 at the then ICE Chatham Theaters and continues now. There is a lot to learn from viewing African cinema. The quantity of the work is consistently building in quality and compelling thematic content.


Efforts like these can go a long way in developing foreign audiences for films emanating from the continent. Its also great to see that they have a licensing arm to develop an institutional market for these kinds of films.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *