PANEL: Evolving African Cinema - Redefining Narratives, Aesthetics and Social Discourse
African cinema emerged amidst the struggle for independence in numerous countries, resulting in initial films infused with socialist realism narratives. However, filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambety transcended these conventions, proclaiming, “Cinema is magic in the service of dreams.” Today, a new generation of African filmmakers is harnessing revolutionary aesthetics, embracing innovative harmonic and rhythmic vocabularies for cinema. Simultaneously, they fearlessly tackle critical issues of our century. This panel explores how these filmmakers are discovering their unique voices, reshaping narratives, and forging new paths in African cinema.
With Amil Shivji, Cyrielle Raingou, Walé Oyéjidé, Milisuthando Bongela
Amil Shivji lives in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he works as a filmmaker and university lecturer. His production company, Kijiweni Productions, focuses on telling local stories. The Kijiweni Cinema, which he founded, screens African heritage films every month, accompanied by debates. Neo-colonialism and cultural and political imperialism are at the heart of Amil Shivji's activities and work. He has written, directed and produced several short films on these same themes, which have earned him worldwide recognition. Last year, he presented his feature film VUTA N'KUVUTE (TUG OF WAR) in Cologne. This year, he is a member of the jury for the Best Feature Film award, and has been involved in film research and programming.
This year he was a curator for the AFFK and is a jury member for the Jury Price Best Feature Film.
Cyrielle Raingou is a Cameroonian filmmaker passionate about African cultural identity. She uses legends, metaphor and the symbolism of animals to unearth the complexity and mystery within humans. Her first feature length documentary LE SPECTRE DE BOKO HARAM focuses on the life in a war zone from children perspective. She holds master’s degrees in law and in documentary film directing. After several short films selected and premiered at important international festivals, the last ones MAMA DAN SO QUE SORRISO (2022) and LE SPECTRE DE BOKO HARAM (2023) had their world premiere at International Film Festival Rotterdam 2023, where it won the Tiger award.
Milisuthando Bongela (born 1985 in South Africa) is an award-winning writer, editor, cultural manager and artist. She began in the fashion industry, then explored the fields of music, art, media and film over the last 15 years, constantly turning to indigenous knowledge. For three years, she was cultural editor of the Mail & Guardian's Friday edition and hosted and co-produced the podcast "Umoya: about African spirituality" with Athambile Masola. Her first film, MILISUTHANDO, is a personal essay-documentary that premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. She is one of the first recipients of the Adobe Women at Sundance Fellowship 2020.
Walé Oyéjidéist ein renommierter Autor, Regisseur und Modedesigner, der Schönheit als Mittel zum Abbau von Vorurteilen einsetzt. Sein Debütfilm BRAVO, BURKINA! wurde beim Sundance Film Festival 2023 nominiert. Seine Designarbeiten waren in Marvels BLACK PANTHER und Amazons COMING 2 AMERICA zu sehen und wurden in Museen auf der ganzen Welt ausgestellt. Oyéjidé ist Sundance Feature Film Program fellow, National Geographic explorer, TED fellow, Open Society Foundations fellow, and Google Image Equity fellow.