A scene from THE LADY OF THE CHINESE SHOP, one of the Portuguese-language films from Africa to be screened at the 19th Africa Film Festival Cologne, which tells of the grotesque attempts at manipulation to which Angolan society is subjected/Photo: Africa Film Festival Cologne

Germany’s leading African film festival celebrates 30th anniversary

From 15 – 25 September 2022, the Africa Film Festival Cologne (Afrika Film Festival Köln, AFFK) will celebrate its 30th anniversary with around 80 historical and contemporary films.

What began in 1992 with a modest selection of “Films from West Africa” in Cologne’s smallest cinema, the Filmpalette, has developed over three decades into Germany’s most important and comprehensive presentation of contemporary filmmaking from all parts of Africa and its worldwide diaspora.

Since 1992, FilmInitiativ Köln e.V. has screened over 1000 films from Africa and the global diaspora in Cologne and featured 300 filmmakers from 50 countries who were invited to discuss their works and themes with the audience.

Some masterpieces by African film artists that have already been shown at previous festival editions can be (re)discovered during the celebration of the festival’s 30th anniversary.

These films illustrate the far-sightedness of African directors who, decades ago, used cinematic means to draw attention to issues and problems that today seem more topical than ever. Decades after their creation, some of these classics can now be seen in the focus “FUTURE VISIONS” of AFFK 2022.

A cross-section of the audience at the 18th Africa Film Festival Cologne. Since 1992, FilmInitiativ Köln e.V. has screened over 1000 films from Africa and the global diaspora/Photo: Africa Film Festival Cologne

This year, the AFFK is collaborating with the Mashariki African Film Festival in Kigali (Rwanda) and with Bernard Djatang, the artistic director of Africlap, the African Film Festival Toulouse (France).

In addition, Beatriz de Medeiros Silva of the Portuguese-Brazilian Institute at the University of Cologne and the film collective “Geração 80”, representing Fradique, will present a selection of Portuguese-language films from Africa and the African diaspora.

Among them are short films, documentaries and feature films, such as THE LADY OF THE CHINESE SHOP by Ery Claver. In this disturbing as well as enchanting urban fairy tale, the Angolan director tells of the grotesque attempts at manipulation to which Angolan society is subjected.

Directors Liz Gomis and Teddy Goitom presented their documentary series AFRICA RIDING and AFRIPEDIA in 2021, which dispel prejudices about the African continent and focus on the creativity and ambitions of young people in Africa. This year, both filmmakers will jointly present a programme for schools in Cologne that includes both short films and workshops.

After the closing ceremony of the film festival, there will be a concert by singer and artist Aline Frazão to celebrate its 30th anniversary. She is not unknown to the festival audience either. Last year, her music enthralled and enchanted the entire cinema auditorium at the screening of the feature film AIR CONDITIONER by Fradique and the collective “Geração 80”. She wrote the wonderful soundtrack to the film.

All detailed information at: www.afrikafilmfestivalkoeln.de

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