The International Film Festival Rotterdam has invited seven filmmakers from Africa to make films in China.
The filmmakers from South Africa, Cameroon, Uganda, Rwanda, Congo and Angola will premiere their films at IFFR 2011 in a special programme called Raiding Africa.
The initiative also includes a workshop this summer produced by the IFFR with support from the Hubert Bals Fund and in cooperation with the Li Xianting Film School in Beijing. The mentors for the workshop will be Chinese filmmakers Ying Liang and Sheng Zhimin, Beijing Film Academy teacher Zhang Xianmin, Tiger Award winning Thai filmmaker Anocha Suwichakornpong, Singaporean filmmaker Sherman Ong, and China-based Dutch filmmaker David Verbeek.
This builds on IFFR 2010’s Forget Africa programme, which was the result of a research trip to Eastern and Central Africa in 2009. The festival screened African films as well as films commissioned from international directors presenting their views on Africa.
The filmmakers taking part in Raiding Africa are: Omelga Mthiyane from South Africa, Emile-Aime Chah Yibain ‘Ancestor’ from Cameroon, Ssenkaaba Samson ‘Xenson’ from Uganda, Caroline Kamya from Uganda, Yves Montand Niyongabo from Rwanda, Amour Sauveur from Congo-Brazzaville, and Henrique Narciso ‘Dito’ from Angola.
“One of the big issues of our time is the domination of the Chinese in some African countries and their absence in daily life,” said IFFR programmer Gertjan Zuilhof, who curated Forget Africa and is working on Raiding Africa with assistant programmer Inge de Leeuw. “So the idea is to ask African filmmakers to make a movie in China and to get to know more about the people that live behind gates in their continent. This new project turns Forget Africa around and gives the filmmakers involved the chance to take a close look at the Chinese as well as to get experience in international low budget digital filmmaking.”
The project is also supported by Norway’s Göteborg Film Fund, Italy’s Festival Cinema Africano, Asia e America Latina, and South Africa’s Durban International Film Festival.