A still image from ‘Mami Wata’ by the Nigerian director C. J. Obasi. Afrikamera 2023 will present current films, including ‘Mami Wata’, that recently premiered and won awards at major international festivals such as Cannes and Sundance/Photo: AYA Films/Fiery Film/Alief

Berlin festival presents latest award-winning films from Africa and more

Once again, a selection of current feature, documentary and short films by African filmmakers will be screened in the German capital city. The occasion is the annual festival ‘Afrikamera – Latest Cinema from Africa’, holding from 14–19 November with the theme Urban Africa – Urban Movies: Future & Utopias.

True to its theme, Afrikamera 2023 presents a selection of futuristic visions of Africa by filmmakers. In addition, current films that recently premiered and won awards at major international festivals such as Cannes and Sundance will be shown, including the Nigerian production Mami Wata (Nigeria, France 2023) by C. J. ‘Fiery’ Obasi and Banel & Adama (Senegal 2023) by Ramata-Toulaye Sy.

More than 20 films around the festival’s theme will be screened at four venues – Kino Arsenal, fsk Kino, BrotFabrikKino and Sinema Transtopia – across the city during the 6-day festival.

Afrikamera 2023 will open on 14 November with Mami Wata, a Nigerian-French production that dwells on how indigenous belief system is deployed to interpret unfavourable realities, with all the drama. Premiered at this year’s Sundance Festival, Mami Wata has just been submitted as Nigerian entry for the 2024 Oscars.

Among the many other films showing at the festival are Le Taxi, Le Cinema Et Moi, (Burkina Faso / Germany / Mali / 2023), the true story of a taxi driver who was inspired to change profession after a chanced meeting with the legendary Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembène. Of course, Drissa Touré became a filmmaker, an internationally renowned one at that.

There will also be the award-winning sci-fi drama Animalia (France / Qatar / Morocco / 2023) of the Moroccan writer and director Sofia Alaoui that uses the story of a woman to journey through the vagaries of life in the north African country. While the documentary Eat Bitter, about a Central African and his Chinese guest worker friend, shows how the situation in the conflict-plagued country impacts on the protagonists’ dreams of a better life.

Afrikamera sees itself as a permanent platform of dialogue between African filmmakers and the Berlin public and as a place of exchange between filmmakers, producers and distributors.

With annual, thematic emphases, the festival deals with issues that engage young filmmakers and those of the post-independence generation of Africa.

Beyond the film screenings, Afrikamera provides an important platform for networking between German filmmakers and their counterparts from Africa and its diaspora.

The 2023 festival will feature exchanges with the directors of some of the screened films, including C.J. Obasi of Mami Wata, who will be in Berlin for the festival.

Afrikamera is organised annually by the non-profit cultural association toucouleur e.V. which, using the medium of film, presents to the Berlin audience the diversity of the African continent. The festival shows that the continent does not only consist of problems such as violence, diseases and natural disasters by presenting the diverse facets of everyday life in Africa.

Femi Awoniyi

For the full programme of Afrikamera 2023, visit: https://www.afrikamera.de/en/calendar-2023/

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