This September, the Lights Camera Africa Film Festival 2016 brings to audiences an offering of films under the banner ‘Music Makes the People…’
The three days festival is an unabashed display of works of film that speak to the power of music and indeed other art forms to create love, express sorrow, build bridges and end wars.
It is a feast that is dedicated to screening the very best of emerging, fresh, independent African cinema and in particular celebrating the musical voice of film.
Featuring the famous Festival Souk, inter-disciplinary showcases of literature, visual art and live music, the festival promises to be one of a lifetime.
Lights Camera Africa Film Festival is taking place 30th September – 2nd October 2016 at The Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos.
Get yourself prepared for the 6th edition of Lights Camera Africa Film Festival 2016 – check out synopses and trailers (Part 1)
1. Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughi (Rain, the Colour of Blue with a little Red in it) – Dir. Christopher Kirkley, Niger, 2015, 75 mins
Akounak tells the universal story of a musician trying to make it against all odds, set against the backdrop of the raucous subculture of Tuareg guitar. The protagonist, real life musician Mdou Moctar, must battle fierce competition from jealous musicians, overcome family conflicts, endure the trials of love, and overcome his biggest rival – himself. Stylistically borrowing from the Western rock-u-drama and a homage to Purple Rain, the story was written with and for a Tuareg audience, drawing from experiences of Mdou Moctar and fellow musicians. Carried by stunning musical performances from Mdou, the film is equally a window into modern day Tuareg guitar in the city of Agadez as it is an experiment in modern ethnographic filmmaking and new techniques of cross cultural collaboration.
2. Anton, Dir. Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Uganda/Germany/USA, 2016, 5min
A young German boy longs for his father in Africa.
3. ’Biodun Olaku: Nigerian Painter, Dir. Tam Fiofori, Nigeria, 2016, 18mins
‘BIODUN OLAKU: NIGERIAN PAINTER is an 18-minute documentary film by Tam Fiofori. It visually chronicles a surprise visit to one of Nigeria’s most accomplished painters and, also one of Tam’s favourite artists, ‘Biodun Olaku, at his work-space in the Universal Studios complex opposite the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, in 2002. Without much prompting, ‘Biodun Olaku graciously and spontaneously talked about his philosophy as a painter and artist; his busy role, “passing visual comments on social, political and other activities that take place around me and I witness.” He then uses five of his paintings to illustrate his philosophy, inspiration and role as an artist, as well as explaining his technique, elements of design and dramatic use of colours.
A recent chance encounter with an old Olaku exhibition catalogue led to the search and rediscovery of the ‘raw’ and now ‘fragile’ 2002 Olaku footage from Fiofori’s archives and, the compulsive inspiration to produce this timeless documentary on ‘Biodun Olaku; a frontline Nigerian painter, in 2016.
4. Cholo – Dir. Muzna Almusafer, Oman, 2016, 21 min Trailer
The dark-skinned 11-year-old Cholo meets his fair-skinned brother Abdullah for the first time, when their father Saeed arrives in Zanzibar from Muscat. Although, strikingly different, the two boys enjoy a crackling chemistry.
5. Destino, Dir. Zangro, France,2013, 22 min Trailer
Two young guys from the neighborhood (Loïc and Mehdi) have set up a little business filming arabic wedding celebrations and then editing them in their mini van, their ‘audiovisual laboratory’. But when Mehdi starts to film the wedding of Leila, his pretty ex-girlfriend… Destiny happens.
6. Gidi Blues, Dir. Femi Odugbemi, Nigeria, 2016, 103 min Trailer
Akin is an indulged playboy from an affluent family who accidentally meets an interesting beauty in an unpredictable place. Nkem is a beautiful, confident but unusual young lady who devotes herself to her work as a community volunteer in the belly of the city’s worst slum. Their encounter drags them both into a whirlwind experience that unravels their world.
7. Green White Green Dir. Abba Makama, Nigeria, 2016, 102 min Trailer
A group of young bohemian artists hang out and search for direction in their lives in the stagnant months leading up to the beginning of their university studies, in this richly textured and frequently funny look at Lagos’ new generation. Hip, modern, and bursting with creative energy, this is the look of young Lagos. Uzoma and his friends are on the cusp of adulthood, feeling directionless in those stagnant months before the beginning of their university studies. They spend their days playing videogames or competing in impromptu yab-offs, improvised insult matches where the quip that gets the most laughs determines the winner. They’re conscious of the varied cultures of Nigeria’s Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba ethnic groups, but they’re as likely to play those for laughs as for beef.
These young bohemians are also artists: painters and filmmakers looking to hone their crafts and tap into their own reservoirs of inspiration. Self-taught painter Uzoma struggles to sell his work on the street, and will readily wait all day at a local art gallery for a chance to speak with the owner. Baba experiments with his first short film, even if the set is just his own backyard. If inexperience is a barrier, then persistence and fearless ambition are their secret weapons. It’s a can-do way of life that feels perfectly Lagosian; these guys are right at home in this city whose population of 21 million is always on the go. Richly textured, funny, and a bit cheeky, Green White Green presents a cityscape reminiscent of a Spike Lee joint, with its vivid colours and vivacious inhabitants.
8. House Of Nwapa Dir. Onyeka Nwelue, Nigeria, 2016, 90 min
The House of Nwapa chronicles the story of Flora Nwapa, considered as Africa’s first female novelist published in English. A string of narratives and interviews, featuring Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, children’s literature writer, Mabel Segun, German anthropologist, Sabine Jell-Bahlsen and former Heinemann editor, James Currey. It details who she was and what she represented.
9. I Shot Bi Kidude Dir. Andy Jones, UK, 2015, 105 min
Shot in Zanzibar, it is a beautiful tale of a singer who was the oldest singer alive in some parts of Zanzibar. It is a documentary showing Bi Kidude when she was about a 100years old and still touring the country and the world, performing her music internationally. Bi Kikude was a rebel-rocking chain smoker whose sense of humour was vibrant and carried that spirit throughout into her old age. Bi Kikude was known as the ‘Queen of Zanzibar’, the ‘Queen of Africa’. A huge annual music festival called ‘Busara’, in Zanzibar, was never complete without Bi Kikude’s performance. Bi Kikude in her old age became very sick but then was shockingly kidnapped. The world’s oldest singer is kidnapped. A mystery: who kidnaps an old woman who was loved by all?
10. In the Eye of the Eye of the Spiral Dir Raynald Leconte/Eve Blouin, USA/Haiti/UK, 2014, 72 mins
In the Eye of the Spiral details an artistic and philosophical movement born in Haiti called Spiralism, which has spread across the arts, touching upon spirituality and even politics. Featuring narration by Annie Lennox and the music of Brian Eno, the film sheds light on the state of a country hit by corruption and natural disaster, and the incredible will of Haitian artists who produce art as a personal form of redemption and survival.