Movement on the African Metropolis initiative we announced last summer – July.
First a quick recap… in short, selected from among 40 entries, 7 African directors will each explore their own “African Metropolis” on film – Abidjan, Cairo, Dakar, Johannesburg, Kinshasa, Lagos, and Nairobi.
The initiative is presented by executive producer Steven Markovitz and the Goethe-Institut South Africa, with further support from the Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival of Rotterdam.
The filmmakers are Jim Chuchu of Kenya, Egyptian director Ahmed Ghoneimy, Folasakin Iwajomo of Nigeria, Marie Ka, who is Senegalese/Martiniquan, Philippe Lacote of the Ivory Coast, Yohan Lengole of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South African director Vincent Moloi.
As was announced last week, this year’s Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) is hosting the premiere of the African Metropolis Short Film Project, with screenings on July 20, 21 and 23.
Cairo: The Cave, directed by Ahmed Ghoneimy.
Adham, a young lad from Alexandria travels to Cairo to pursue his musical career and rebound with his old friend, Amr, a member of his former band who has since attempted to settle his life.
Dakar: The Other Woman (L’autre Femme), directed by Marie KA.
Johannesburg: Berea, directed by Vincent Moloi.
Kinshasa: Kisita, directed by Carole Maloba.
Lagos: The Line-Up, directed by Folasakin Iwajomo.
Ten men in a taxi, strangers to each other, head to an unusual line up, where they must strip and subject themselves to blindfolds and inspection by a mysterious woman and her charge. Only seven go home that night, big money in their pockets. But what of the other three? The ritual is replayed again and again, and the attrition continues. For one man the rumours of how much ‘the chosen’ make spurs him on – he is desperate for the money to pay for a child’s operation. But what is price of being chosen? Iwajomo’s spooky, disturbing film confronts the perils of the poverty trap and the abuse of the desperate, in an allegory for the exploited.
Nairobi: Homecoming, directed by Jim Chuchu.
Nothing is quite what it seems as a nerdy voyeur turns fiction into truth and the mundane into the unexpected in his quest to get the proverbial girl next door. Earth is about to be pulverised by a meteor – or is it? – and it is the ideal opportunity to finally make known his unspoken desires – and be a knight on the proverbial white steed. But a mysterious stranger stands in the way of his happiness. Will he overcome mass extinction and his own timidity and get the girl? A fun, warm, light-hearted look at obsession and the desire to be seen.
That’s it – the 7 films. Let’s hope they travel.
The Durban International Film Festival takes place from July 18 – 28, 2013. The Festival includes 170 theatrical screenings (I’ve highlighted a few, and will highlight a few more), a full seminar/workshop programme as well as the Wavescape Film Festival and industry initiatives: the 6th Talent Campus Durban (in cooperation with the Berlin Talent Campus) and the 4th Durban FilmMart (the co-production market in partnership with the Durban Film Office), with the Wild Talk Africa Festival taking place in the city from July 23 to 26.
For more information go to www.durbanfilmfestival.co.za.