"African Reflections" - AfricAvenir's Monthly African Film Series in Berlin (Hackesche Höfe Kino)
Beyond the narrow perspectives of the dominant European or US-American media, which mostly reduce the African continent to misery or exotism, African film makers shed a fresh light on the continent's developments and allow for a more differentiated insight into the diversity of the continent and its most pressing social challenges. Since 2004 AfricAvenir International e.V. has presented an average of 15 African movies and documentaries per year in the framework of its Film Series "African Reflections", taking place at Hackesche Höfe Cinema and in summer at Freiluftkino Hasenheide. Beyond this, we regularly organise school screenings, and occasionally festivals, film seminars and film tours. Some films are also shown in partnership with others outside the frame of "African Reflections".
African Reflections 2016: Societal Upheavals & New Departures
Under the broad theme "Auf- und Umbrüche/Upheavals & New Departures", we have programmed feature films, documentaries as well as shorts which deal with revolutions and social upheavals like "Egypt's Modern Pharaohs" by Jihan El-Tahri, "The Dream of Shahrazad" or "As I Open My Eyes" by Leyla Bouzid, films that deal with changing identities in a globalised world like "Maybe Dreams Can Come True" or "Vers la tendresse", as well as philosophical and afrofuturistic films like "Naked Reality" by Jean-Pierre Bekolo, "The Unseen" by Perivi Katjavivi. Our open air specials included Bouchareb's blockbusters "Indigènes/Days of Glory", "Outside the Law"and "Life is Waiting" on the Sarahouis fight for independence. The long awaited magnificent "Kemtiyu - Cheikh Anta Diop" by Ousmane William Mbaye was as much part of the series as was the feature "Dead Weight" by Yemane Demissie. The final screening was a special evening of Animation Shorts curated by Berlin based Ebele Okoye!
This series of African Reflections is supported by Aktion Afrika (Auswärtiges Amt), Brot für die Welt/EED and Katholischer Fonds.
The screenings of "As I Open My Eyes", "Ayanda" & "Dis Ek, Anna" were part of „Sisters in African Cinema“ and financially supported by Kulturstiftung des Bundes
African Reflections 2015: Female Reflections
Starting with a portrait of the amazing senegalese writer Ken Bugul, the African Reflections Series will in 2015 focus on the works of female African directors as well as on films about historic and contemporary female figures. Also featuring is the stunning feature Elza by Mariette Monpierre from Guadeloupe, The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo by Yaba Badoe or the amazing biopic about Fadhma n'Soumer, the legendary kabyl resistance fighter against french colonisation in Algeria. Open Air screenings will include Des éoiles - Under the Starry Sky by Dyana Gaye, and later in the year we plan to screen films by Raja Amari, Pascale Obolo, Sheri Hagen and others.
This series of African Reflections is supported by Aktion Afrika (Auswärtiges Amt), Brot für die Welt/EED and Katholischer Fonds. The female screenings are in partnership with Adefra and Terre des Femmes Foundation.
African Reflections: October - December 2014
The current cycle of African Reflections Film Series has started in October with the screening of "The Marches for Freedom" and "The Marchers", two films reflecting on anti-racist movements in Europe and the US. The cycle is being funded by Aktion Afrika of the German Federal Foreign Office and features the following films: "Mille Soleils" followed by the classic "Touki Bouki", "Rengaine - Hold Back", "Gangster Project & Gangster Backstage" by Teboho Edkins and finally "Des étoiles - Under the Starry Sky" by Dyana Gaye.
Financially supported by:
"African Reflections" - October 2013 - September 2014
The current film series started in November 2013 with the German Premiere of "Toussaint Louverture", the first-ever feature film about one of the great heroes of Black and world history. Curated by Eric Van Grasdorff of AfricAvenir in constant dialogue with independent curator Enoka Ayemba, Moussa Sawadogo (Afrikamera), Christian Mahnke (AfricAvenir Windhoek), Thierno Ibrahima Dia (Africiné) and others, the series seeks to screen African and Diaspora features and documentaries which combine cinematographic excellence with socio-political study or/and engagement. Funded by Brot für die Welt, Rosa-Luxemburg-Foundation and Engaement Global (with funds from the Ministry of Cooperation), the series comprises 12 films, amongs which "Les Mécréants", "Por Aqui Tudo Bem", "L'autre en moi", "Président Dia"/"Mère-Bi", "One Man's Show", "Of Good Report", "The Pardon" as well as the open air screening of "The Pirogue" and "Death for Sale".
„Siehst du mich?“ – a film screening within „50 Jahre afrikanische Un-Abhängigkeiten“
In September 2010 AfricAvenir started the film screening “Siehst du mich?“ (“Do you see me?”) with the screening of the classic “Hyènes” by Djibril Diop-Mambety. The series was curated by Julien Enoka Ayemba in the context of “50 Jahre afrikanische Un-Abhängigkeiten”. With the formal sovereignty of many African states in 1960 an African film industry came into existence. Its first protagonists followed a highly anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist line in their works, however including a critical examination of the new African political leaderships from the start. This was a cinema with the task of critically accompanying the developments in the new states politically as well as culturally, and with the mission of giving a voice to their people. Through the chosen movies (some of them as real rarities), cinematic readings and discussions, the film series “Siehst du mich?” had the objective to show some remarkable milestones and masterpieces of the African film history from the last 50 years in Berlin. Following movies have been shown: Hyènes, Mortu Nega, Adwa - An African Victory, Sun of the Hyenas and Guimba - The Tyrant. Framing these screenings, two cinematic readings and discussions were organised with the film critics Hassouna Mansouri, Thierno Ibrahima Dia (Africiné), Melissa Thackway und Patrice Nganang and a final MÉGOTAGE featuring film and audio snipets, collages and readings on 50 years of independence were presented.
RE/VISIONS: Film Series
From the beginning of the 1950s African film directors have regularly contributed to the history of world cinema with important works, which internationally gained recognition, mostly at festivals. These movies are unfortunately rarely found in Film-encyclopaedias and are only known among restricted groups of people, due to the still common categorization as “African films” in the North which academic discussion has long overcome. Like the social, political, economic and cultural history and present of the African continent, also the term “African film” includes a big diversity.
The particular characteristic of African films nowadays is the way how they are used and understood as transcontinental means of communication. The films not only refer to the realities of the African continent, but also mediate a contact and dialog with the rest of the world. Through the search of an appropriate movie-languages some binarities as North/South lose their meaning and let the films speak for themselves.
Curated by Julien Enoka Ayemba, the film series “RE/VISIONEN: Contemporary Perspectives of Art from Africa” featured current and in Germany mostly unknown films of young and innovative as well as established film-directors, who presented their works at the pan-African film-festival FESPACO in 2009. The chosen directors dealt critically with current political, economic and cultural processes of transformation in various African countries. To achieve attention from an international audience, they make use of diverse aesthetic and artistic forms of communication. Due to this selection the attention is pushed to innovative ways and creative visions of contemporary African film-making. These were the films we presented: Behind the Rainbow, a selection of awarded short films Mascarades, Teza und L'Absence.