This past weekend, University of Westminster held a conference on African Film and Social Change at their Maryleborne Campus.
The conference was to highlight the constant showcasing of social disparities in African films. Most of these films depict a lot of gender violence, gender politics, sexuality and stereotyping. This is something most African and Non-African filmmakers are trying to do away with to remove the negative view of Africa associated with their films.
Film was introduced in Africa through the colonial film unit. Nigerian Filmmaker, Newton I. Aduaka, who is based in Paris, talked a lot about the new generation of filmmakers; about how fearless they are nowadays in the age of the internet, how they are not restricted to just African content but they combine various cultures and make a lot more compelling, diverse films.
Another filmmaker, Cecilia Zoppelletto, is not of African descent but she also has the same views and in addition wants the art of cinema to be present in all African countries. Her documentary, ‘La Belle at the Movies’ filmed in Kinshasa Congo, Zoppelletto documents the lack of cinema and theatres in this town rich in talent and culture. The citizens of this town do not feel as if they are missing with much with the scarcity of movies as they keep the art of story telling alive by making plays and showcasing different talents within production houses that are still in existence in Congo.
The owners of the aforementioned established would like nothing more than to take their shows and such to festivals in neighbouring countries and even get it to reach a global scale but they are lacking in funds to oversee production costs on a regional scale and the local government provides little to no support.
This conference was attended by scholars and students alike, as well as notable filmmakers from Nigeria, Ghana and the UK.
Feature Image by Jordaania Andima