A still image from the feature film ADAM by Moroccan filmmaker Maryam Touzani about a young woman who is pregnant in a society that condemns her for having a child out of wedlock/Photo: FilmInitiativ Köln e.V.

Cologne: Cinematic offer from Africa in the era of Covid-19

Things are different this year for well-known reasons. With the AFRIKA FILM TAGE (AFRICA FILM EVENTS), FilmInitiativ e.V. presents a stripped-down version of the traditional African Film Festival Cologne, a sort of cinematic offer from Africa and its Diaspora in the era of Covid-19.

From 17 to 24 September, the organisation presents a programme tailored to corona safety guidelines and without a thematic focus, but with outstanding current and historical films and some interesting guests. And as seats in the cinema hall are limited due to the current social distance rules in force, most films will be shown twice.

Among the films to be shown during the one-week long festival are award-winning new feature and documentary films which will be screened in Cologne for the first time, such as the feature film ADAM (German premiere) by Moroccan filmmaker Maryam Touzani about a young woman who is pregnant in a society that condemns her for having a child out of wedlock.

The Kenyan drama LUSALA (German premiere) about a young man haunted by the traumatic ghosts of his past will also be presented at the AFRIKA FILM TAGE.

With the documentary MEU AMIGO FELA ((MY FRIEND FELA)) by Joel Zito Araújo, Cologne continues its focus on the Black Contemporary Cinema from Brazil, which was presented last year with a dozen short films. The film by Brazilian director Araújo is about the legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti and it documents the close relationship of the Brazilian Diaspora to the culture of the African continent.

In a double programme, the festival also presents African perspectives on the Second World War. The event, with the documentaries ALSO AFRICANS HAVE FREED THE ELSASS and ANOTHER 8th MAY – THE MASSKERS OF SÉTIF IN ALGERIA, was actually supposed to take place in May on the 75th anniversary of the end of the war.

A total of 28 films from African countries as well as from the worldwide Diaspora will be screened in Cologne from 17 – 24 September. Five international guests have also been invited to discuss topical issues with the audience.

As the Second World War did not end outside Europe until September 1945, the discussion with director Mehdi Lallaoui during the festival is still important, especially as the events of the war outside Europe and Africa were almost completely ignored at the end of the war 75 years ago. The cooperation partners for this event include recherche international e.V., the International Office of the Mayor of Cologne, bündnis14afrika and the africologne Festival.

Initiatives and organisations such as No one is illegal have been invited to discuss with Hind Meddeb, director of the documentary film PARIS STALINGRAD about undocumented refugees living on the streets of the French capital, whose situation has worsened during the Corona crisis.

Vivian Asamoah

More information about the festival at:

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