AFRIKAMERA PRESENTS: AFRICAN QUEERS, AFRICAN MOVIES, AFRICAN CULTURES
Queer lifestyles have become a central social and cultural issue of dispute that is often exploited for political purposes on the African continent. Not only in the recent years, Africa is considered as the homophobic continent par excellence. For example, five years ago the murder of ungandan gay activist David Kato did awake worldwide attention; His legacy lives on, among others in the moving documentary CALL ME KUCHU (5.11.)
In more than half of the African countries, homosexuality is punishable, in some countries it is even forbidden under the penalty of death. In Africa, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals are repeatedly victims of detention, “corrective” rape and extortion. In many Maghribian countries, conditions increasingly worsen due to the increasing strength of the influence of Islamic fundamentalist.
As much as the controversy surrounding homosexuality, the visibility of LGBT identities also increases in Africa, which is due to a boosted formation of queer networks. Many activists are therefore active in the cultural sector, especially filmmakers have become an important voice in the fight for the acceptance of LGBT. With movies they are making tireless attention to the situation of sexual minorities. In defiance of the increasing repression in many African countries, a number of movies and documentaries that deal with various queer lifestyles and queer african everyday life emerged recently.
In the 9th. Edition of AFRIKAMERA – CURRENT FILMS FROM AFRICA (organized by the nonprofit cultural Association toucouleur e. V.) the Festival focus on a selection of recent movies and documentaries which deal with LGBT issues and plead for the acceptance of queer lifestyles on the African continent. During AFRIKAMERA, committed directors and activists become a platform to discuss and present their films.
At the opening of the festival with the film L’ARMÉE DU SALUT (SALVATION ARMY) (1.11; Revision on 2.11.) the Moroccan writer and director Abdellah Taïa will be a guest and present the film adaptation of his own autobiographical novel from 2006 – the first gay coming out in literary form within the Arab world.
For the Work in Progress / Private Preview of THE PEARL OF AFRICA (4.11) by Jonny of Wallström, the main protagonist and gender activist Cleopatra Kambugu is invited – the film tells her own story as a transgender woman who was outed alongside 200 other LGBTs by a Ugandan tabloid so that she had to leave the country for security reasons.
For the Work in Progess / Private Preview of MY NAME IS SHERIFF NOW (6.11.) AFRIKAMERA presents the current work of Teboho Edkins. The film of the Lesothan director tells the life of Sheriff Mothopeng and his handling of being born with the ‘wrong’ gender. The director of the film and its main character will be in attendance at the premiere.
South Africa is the first country in the world which wrote the right of protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation in the Constitution back in 1994. For the purposes of a special event (3.11) in the premises of the Heinrich- Böll Foundation in Berlin-Mitte, AFRIKAMERA presents with WHILE YOU WEREN’T LOOKING the film debut of the South African director Catherine Stewart. Filmed on actual locations, the film explores the diverse demarcations that divide South Africa to date and raises interesting side views of the current queer arts and music scene of the country. The presentation of two other LGBT short films and a panel discussion after the screenings will complete the program.
Beyond the thematic focus AFRIKAMERA shows further highlights of the past African cinematic year, including german premiere of THE CEO (6.11.), a thriller of the Nigerian director Kunle Afolayan. The film, which also includes an all-star ensemble, kidnapps the spectators in an nightmare of an Assessment – Center – Beach – Resort on the nigerian coast.
LOVE THE ONE YOU LOVE (2.11.), the feature film debut of Jenna Cato Bass tells in form of a romantic comedy the utopia of a functioning, multi-ethnic society in South Africa. Awarded at FESPACO in 2015 with the Special Jury Prize, the touching comedy PRICE OF LOVE (5.11.) of Hermon Hailay allows rare glimpses into the everyday life in Addis Ababa.
The program AFRICA RISING (4.11.) is a compilation of outstanding short films of the last two years – Lemohang Jeremiah Moses from Lesotho will present here his current work MOSONNGOA – THE MOCKED ONE (2016).
With KINDIL EL BAHR (3.11.) of Damien Ounouri AFRIKAMERA has aswell an unusual, algerian horror fable in the program.