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Encyclopedia > African cinema
African cinema

The term African cinema usually refers to the film production in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa following formal independence, which for many countries happened in the 1960s. Some of the countries which belong geographically to Africa (Egypt, for example) had developed a national film industry much earlier. Often, African Cinema also includes African directors living in the diaspora. Image File history File links Information_icon. ... Image File history File links Wiki_letter_w. ... Image File history File links Please see the file description page for further information. ... This article does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The success of Imarat Yacoubian (The Yacoubian Building, 2006), starring Adel Emam, Youssra, and Nour El-Sherif, is a sign of the continuing vigor of the Egyptian film industry. ... Morocco knew cinema since 1897 through the filming of Le chevalier Marocain (The Moroccan knight) by Louis Lumière. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Chopper scene from the Movie Rajo. ... Cry, the Beloved Country (1995) Drum (2004) Fiela se Kind (1988) Forgiveness (2004) Inside Out (2000) Jump the Gun (1997) Mr Bones (2001) Paljas (1998) Promised Land (2002) Sarafina (1992) Story of an African Farm (2004) Yesterday (2004) In My Country (2005) This is an incomplete list. ... A geographical map of Africa, showing the ecological break that defines the sub-Saharan area A political map showing national divisions in relation to the ecological break (Sub-Saharan Africa in green) Sub-Saharan Africa is the term used to describe those countries of the African continent that are not... The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... A poster of African Reparation, Reconciliation and Restoration Conference The African diaspora is the diaspora created by the movements and cultures of Africans and their descendants throughout the world, to places such as the Americas, (including the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America) Europe and Asia. ...


Film during the colonial era

As with many African writers, for example Chinua Achebe, repudiating stereotypes and images about Africa and Africans was an important motivation for many African film makers. In Hollywood movies shot in the colonial era, Africa is used mainly to provide scenic landscapes, with Africans often depicted as dangerous and wild 'primitives', or servants satisfied with their lot. Chinua Achebe (born November 16, 1930) is a Nigerian novelist and poet, an esteemed and controversial literary critic, and one of the most widely read authors of the 20th century. ...

In the French colonies, filmmaking was formally forbidden to Africans. The first francophone African film, L’Afrique sur Seine by Paulin Soumanou Vieyra, was actually shot in Paris in 1955. 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Before independence, there were only a few anti-colonial films were produced. Examples of this include Les statues meurent aussi by Chris Marker and Alain Resnais about European robbery of African art (which was banned by the French for 10 years), or Afrique 50 by René Vauthier about anti-colonial riots in Cote D'Ivoire and in Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso). Chris Marker (born July 29, 1921) is a French writer, photographer, film director, multimedia artist and documentary maker. ... Alain Resnais (born June 3, 1922 in Vannes, France) is a French film director, and a key founder of the french new wave or nouvelle vague film movement. ...

Many of the ethnographic films produced in the colonial era by Jean Rouch and others were rejected by African film makers because in their view they distorted African realities. Ethnography (from the Greek ethnos = nation and graphe = writing) refers to the qualitative description of human social phenomena, based on months or years of fieldwork. ... Jean Rouche (31 May 1917 - 18 February 2004) was a French motion-picture director and ethnologist. ...

Production and reception

African film makers often have difficulty accessing African audiences. The commercial cinemas in Africa often have to book blindly and show primarily Hollywood or Bollywood films. However, there are still limited venues where African audiences have access to African films, e.g. at the Panafrican film festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Most African filmmakers still rely heavily on European institutions for financing and producing their films. A commercially viable video production has been set up in Nigeria, colloquially known as Nollywood. Bollywood (Hindi: }}, Urdu: ) is the informal name given to the popular Mumbai-based Hindustani language film industry in India. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Nollywood is a name given to the Nigerian video movie industry. ...


The political approach of African film makers is clearly evident in the Charte du cinéaste africain (Charta of the African cinéaste) which the union of African film makers FEPACI adopted in Algiers in 1975. “Alger” redirects here. ... 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ...

The filmmakers start by recalling the neocolonial condition of African societies. "The situation contemporary African societies live in is one in which they are dominated on several levels: politically, economically and culturally." African filmmakers stressed their solidarity with progressive filmmakers in other parts of the world. African cinema is often seen a part of Third Cinema. Definition from Oxford English Dictionary: The use of economic, political, cultural, or other pressures to control or influence another country; esp. ... Third Cinema is a cinema which decries neocolonialism, the capitalist system, and the Hollywood model of cinema as mere entertainment to make money. ...

In the words of Souleymane Cissé: "African filmmakers' first task is to show that people here are human beings and to help people discover the African values that can be of service to others. The following generation will branch out into other aspects of film. Our duty is to make people understand that white people have lied through their images." (Thackway, p. 39) Souleymane Cissé (April 21, 1940 in Bamako - ) is a Malian film director. ...

Some African filmmakers, e.g. Ousmane Sembène, try to give back African history to African people by remembering the resistance to European and Islamic domination.

The role of the African filmmaker is often compared to traditional Griots. Like them their task is to express and reflect communal experiences. Patterns of African oral literature often recur in African films. African film has also been influenced by traditions from other continents such as Italian neorealism, Brazilian Cinema Novo and the theatre of Bertolt Brecht. This page is about the West African poets. ... Italian neorealism is a film movement often considered to have started in 1943 with Ossessione and ended in 1952 with Umberto D. The movement is characterized by stories set amongst the poor and working class, filmed in long takes on location, frequently using nonprofessional actors for secondary and sometimes primary... Cinema Novo was a movement among Brazilian film makers in the second half of the 20th century, summarized by the phrase Uma câmera na mão e uma idéia na cabeça (which roughly translates to A camera in the hand and an idea in the head). The... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Women Directors

Ethnologist and filmmaker Safi Faye was the first African women film director to gain international recognition.

In 1972, Sarah Maldoror had shot her film Sambizanga about the liberation struggle in Angola. Surviving women of this war are the subject of the Documentary Les oubliées (The forgotten), made by Anne-Laure Folly twenty years later. 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Sarah Maldoror, born Sarah Ducados in Condom, Gers, France is a black french film director. ... Documentary film is a broad category of visual expression that is based on the attempt, in one fashion or another, to document reality. ...

1960s and 70s

The first African film to win international recognition was Ousmane Sembène's La Noire de... also known as Black Girl. It showed the despair of an African woman who has to work as a maid in France. The writer Sembène had turned to cinema to reach a wider audience. He is still considered to be the 'father' of African Cinema. Sembène's native country Senegal continued to be the most important place of African film production for more than a decade. Ousmane Sembène (b. ...

With the of the African film festival FESPACO in Burkina Faso in 1969, African film created its own forum. FESPACO now takes place every two years in alternation with the film festival Carthago in (Tunisia). FESPACO (La Festival Panafricain du Cinéma et de la Télévision de Ouagadougou) is a biennial African film festival held in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. ... For the Stargate SG-1 episode, see 1969 (Stargate SG-1). ... This article is about the ancient city-state of Carthage in North Africa. ...

The Federation of African Filmmakers (FEPACI) was formed in 1969 in order to focus attention on the promotion of African film industries in terms of production, distribution and exhibition. From its inception, FEPACI was seen as a critical partner organization to the OAU, now the AU. FEPACI looks at the role of film in the politico-economic and cultural development of African states and the continent as a whole.

Med Hondo's O soleil O, shot in 1969, was immediately recognized. Politically not less engaged then Sembène, he chose a more controversial filmic language to show what it means to be a stranger in France with the 'wrong' skin colour.

Djibril Diop Mambéty's sophisticated comedy Touki-Bouki (1973), about a young couple in Dakar who want to make a trip to Paris at all costs, is still considered one of the best African films ever made. Djibril Diop Mambéty (January 1945-July 23, 1998) was a Senegalese film director, actor, orator, composer and poet. ...

1980s and beyond

Souleymane Cissé's Yeelen (Mali 1987) and Cheick Oumar Sissoko's Guimba (Mali 1995) were well received in the west. Some critics criticized the filmmakers for adapting to the exotic tastes of western audiences Exoticism (from exotic) is a trend in art and design, influenced by some ethnic groups or civilizations since the late 19th-century. ...

Many films of the 1990s, e.g. Quartier Mozart by Jean-Pierre Bekolo (Cameroon 1992), are situated in the globalized African metropolis.

A first African Film Summit took place in South Africa in 2006. It was followed by FEPACI 9th Congress. For the Manfred Mann album, see 2006 (album). ...

Directors by country

  • Angola: Sarah Maldoror Zeze Gamboa
  • Benin: Jean Odoutan,Idrissou Mora Kpai
  • Burkina Faso: Idrissa Ouedraogo, Gaston Kaboré, Dani Kouyaté, Fanta Régina Nacro, Apolline Traore, Orissa Touré, Pierre Yameogo, Sanou Kollo, Pierre Ruamba
  • Cameroon: Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Bassek Ba Kobhio, Jean-Pierre Dikongue, Jean-Marie Teno, François Woukoache
  • Cape Verde: Fernando Vendrell, Francisco Manso
  • Central African Republic: didier Ouenangare
  • Chad: Issa Serge Coelo, Mahamat Saleh Haroun
  • Côte d'Ivoire: Desiré Ecaré, Fadika Kramo Lancine, Roger Gnoan M'Bala, Jacques Trabi
  • Democratic Republic of Congo: Mweze Ngangura, Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda, Joseph Kumbela, Zeka Laplaine
  • Egypt: Salah Abu Seif, Youssef Chahine, Yousry Nasrallah, Ezzel Dine Zulficar
  • Ethiopia: Haile Gerima
  • Gabon: Imunga Ivanga]
  • Ghana: Kwaw Ansah, King Ampaw, John Akronfrah, Fara Awindor
  • Guinea: David Achkar, Gahité Fofana,Mohamed Camara
  • Guinea-Bissau Flora Gomes
  • Mali: Souleymane Cissé, Cheick Oumar Sissoko, Abdoulaye Ascofare, Adama Drabo
  • Mauritania: Med Hondo, Abderrahmane Sissako, Sidney Sokhana
  • Niger: Oumarou Ganda
  • Nigeria Ola Balogun, Eddie Ugboma, Amaka Igwe, Zeb Ejiro, Lola Fani-Kayode, Bayo Awala, Izu Ojukwu, Greg Fiberesima,Tunde kelani
  • Kenya: Judy Kibinge, Jane Munene, Anne Mungai
  • Senegal: Ousmane Sembène, Paulin Soumarou Vieyra, Djibril Diop Mambéty, Moussa Sene Absa, Safi Faye, Ababacar Samb-Makhbaram, Ben Diogaye Beye, Clarence Delgado, Ahmadou Diallo, Bouna Medoune Seye, Moussa Touré, Mansour Sora Wade
  • Togo: Anne Laure Folly
  • South Africa: Lionel Ngakane, Seipati Bulani-Hopa, Mickey Dube, Zola Maseko, Sechaba Morejele, Morabane Modise, Teddy Matthera

Sarah Maldoror, born Sarah Ducados in Condom, Gers, France is a black french film director. ... Idriissa Ouédraogo is a film director born 21 January 1954 in Banfora, Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso). ... Gaston Kaboré is a Burkinabé film director. ... Fanta Régina Nacro (1962-) is an African film director Fanta Régina Nacro was born on the 4th September 1962 at Burkina Faso, Africa. ... Jean-Pierre Bekolo (b. ... Mahamat Saleh Haroun (b. ... Salah Abu Seif (Arabic:صلاح أبوسيف) (May 10, 1915 – June 23, 1996) was one of the most famous Egyptian film directors. ... Youssef Chahine (Arabic: يوسف شاهين) (born January 25, 1926 in Alexandria, Egypt) is an Egyptian film director. ... Yousry Nasrallah (born 1952 in Cairo) is an Egyptian film director. ... Ezzel Dine Zulficar (Arabic: ‎, transliteration: ) (1919 – 1963) was an Egyptian film director, screenwriter, actor, and producer. ... Haile Gerima (* 1946) is an ethiopian filmmaker who came to the United States in 1968. ... Mohamed Camara (born October 21, 1980) is a Guinean professional footballer who currently plays for Germinal Beerschot. ... Souleymane Cissé (April 21, 1940 in Bamako - ) is a Malian film director. ... Cheick Oumar Sissoko (born 1945 in San, Mali) is a Malian film director. ... Abdoulaye Ascofaré (April 20, 1949 in Gao - ) is a Malian poet and filmmaker. ... Adama Drabo (1948 in Bamako, Mali - ) is a Malian filmmaker and playwright. ... now. ... Ousmane Sembène (b. ... Djibril Diop Mambéty (January 1945-July 23, 1998) was a Senegalese film director, actor, orator, composer and poet. ... Lionel Ngakane (July 17, 1920 - November 26, 2003) was a South African filmmaker. ...

Films about African cinema

  • Caméra d’Afrique, Director: Férid Boughedir, Tunesia/France 1983
  • Les Fespakistes, Directors: François Kotlarski, Eric Münch, Burkina Faso/France 2001
  • This is Nollywood


  • Olivier Barlet, African Cinemas : decolonizing the gaze, Zed Books, London, 2001
  • Fernando E. Solanas, Octavio Getino, "Towards a Third Cinema" in: Bill Nichols (ed.), Movies and Methods. An Anthology, University of California Press 1976, pp. 44-64
  • Nwachukwu Frank Ukadike, Black African Cinema, University of California Press 1994
  • Nwachukwu Frank Ukadike, Questioning African Cinema: Conversations with Filmmakers, University of Minnesota Press 2002, ISBN 0-8166-4005-X
  • Melissa Thackway, Africa Shoots Back: Alternative Perspectives in Sub-Saharan Francophone African Film, Indiana University Press 2003, Includes a comprehensive bibliography and a select filmografy
  • Africultures : see www.africultures.com (French and English)
  • Samuel Lelievre (ed.),Cinémas africains, une oasis dans le désert ?, CinémAction no 106, Paris, Télérama/Corlet, 1st trimester 2003
  • Écrans d’Afriques (1992-1998) - French and English - to read on www.africine.org or www.africultures.com

See also

Cinema of Africa A list of African films by country of orign: // A proposito dellAngola (1973) Burned By Blue (2001) Camarada Faz la Coregem Caravana (1992) Carnaval da vitoria (1978) Comboio da Canhoca (1989) Des fusils pour Banta (1970) O Desassossego de Pessoa (2002) Dissidence (1998) O Golpe O... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... African literature generally refers to the novels, short stories, and poetry written by African writers during the 20th century. ... Political Cinema in the narrow sense of the term is a cinema which portrays current or historical events or social conditions in a partisan way in order to inform or to agitate the spectator. ... Third Cinema is a cinema which decries neocolonialism, the capitalist system, and the Hollywood model of cinema as mere entertainment to make money. ... The term womens cinema usually refers to the work of women film directors. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
African Cinema: Addressee Unknown (2775 words)
It seems necessary to stress the shameful fact that over 90% of African cinema is still produced by men and that inevitably most of those that get to make films come from the urbanised educated elites of their respective countries.
African cinema has developed largely on auteurist lines with a predominance of directors who are also, at one and the same time, the producers of their own films.
One of the real strengths of African cinema in recent years has been its sustaining interaction with the fast-changing ferment of African culture and society, where, for example, many countries are starting to question the idea of the one-party state.
  More results at FactBites »



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