New colours on the African cinema calendarBy AFRICA REVIEW Correspondent | Friday, October 26  2012 at  14:01

It could be a a very new addition to the African cinema circuits, but the Colours of Nile Film Festival has already attracted some attention, ahead of screenings, thanks to the variety of films on its catalogue.

Slated for between November 7 and 11 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the festival is a celebration of contemporary African cinema, with some special treatment to Eastern Africa.

On the screening menu are 59 titles; six African premiers, 30 East African premiers and 21 Ethiopian premiers.

Films on competition are also varied, geographically and by their style of storytelling. They are from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia.

A scene from Restless City (Congo / US). This is a story of an African immigrant surviving on the fringes of New York City.


“We’re very proud of our line up,” says festival's president Abraham Haile Biru, a two-time winner of the Best Cinematographer category at Fespaco, one of the biggest African film events.

Notably, most of the films to be screened at the event are recent releases that, according to the festival organisers, "present a new vision of the continent and its creativity”.

The repertoire

The titles include: Kim Nguyen’s Rebelle (War Witch); Mahamet-Saleh Haroun’s A Screaming Man (Un homme qui crie); Mika Kaurismaki’s Mama Africa; Caroline Kamya’s Imani; Akin Omotoso’s Nigerian/South Africa co-production Man on Ground; and Wanuri Kahui’s science fiction short, Pumzi.

Clearly, the festival is an opportunity to sample what African filmmakers are creating these days, and new cinema trends.

There is also a chance to interact with Ethiopian cinema, something that could be a game changer for the African cinema that has bee struggling to build audiences.

Already, the Ethiopian film industry, sprouting from a vibrant theatre tradition, has been on a roll, managing to attract huge audiences in the country of 85 million people.

Unlike other countries hat have adopted colonial languages, Ethiopian films are mostly told in vernacular. The country was not colonised in the strict sense of the word. The language issue though seen by some critics as an attractive selling point, it is also a challenge, especially because most of these movies may not have a life beyond the country's borders. But there are those who see dubbing and subtitles as likely answers to the language puzzle.


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