Save the dates: the 14th edition of the African Film Festival of Tarifa and Tangier is about to begin

L’image de cette édition 2017 du festival est l’adaptation d’un cliché du photographe érythréen Dawit L. Petros. Il est tiré de la série Stranger’s Notebook dans laquelle l’auteur joue avec l’élément du miroir, qui remet en question l’étroitesse du regard occidental sur la question de l’immigration africaine.

A new edition of the African Film Festival of Tarifa and Tangier, also known as FCAT, is on its way. The programme presents 70 films coming from 30 countries, mostly in Africa. Among the programmed films, 20 will be premieres in Spain and 26 will compete for awards.

FCAT, the only festival specializing in African cinema in the Hispanic world, takes place from 28 April to 6 May 2017 in Tarifa, Spain. For the second year in a row, the festival also takes place at the Cinémathèque de Tanger, on the other side of the Strait of Gibraltar, in Morocco, from 30 April to 5 May.

Films in competition

  • 13 documentary and fiction feature-length films compete in the section Long-sightedness;
  • 12 documentary and fiction short films compete in the section Shortly.

Films out of competition

  • Afroscope. A selection of films examining and raising questions about current issues such as borders, territory, and identity. The section is divided into three parts:
    • Africa, the way it is: 5 films, of which 2 short films and 3 documentaries;
    • Borders: 9 films, of which 7 documentaries and 2 fictions;
    • Spanish outlooks: films directed by Spanish filmmakers who dared to gaze elsewhere and create very personal, often poetic, interpretations of “the other”. The selection of 5 films includes 3 documentaries, one fiction, and one experimental short film.
  • Africa in rhythm. This section includes 4 documentaries featuring music and dance across the continent.
  • A retrospective of Alain Gomis. An almost integral retrospective of the films directed by the French-Senegalese filmmaker. The retrospective includes 6 feature-length movies that earned him numerous awards and nominations. It should be noted that Félicité (2017), programmed for the opening of this fourteenth edition of the FCAT, is also directed by Alain Gomis.
  • Focus: contemporary Tunisian cinema. A section made up of 5 films that question a possible revival of Tunisian cinema, and that put it in relation to the new era in which Tunisia entered after the fall of Ben Ali in 2011.
  • We, the Aliens. 4 documentaries made by Spanish filmmakers who have looked at the common aspects and relations that have developed over time between Spain and certain countries in Africa, especially in the North and West.
  • South Africa and apartheid. A selection of 3 films focusing on the apartheid and post-apartheid periods.
  • Tribute to Cheick Fantamady Camara. This edition of the FCAT is dedicated to a Guinean filmmaker who left us too early last January. The film Il va pleuvoir sur Conakry (2006) will be screened as an homage. The film humorously depicts the affairs of an affectionate caricaturist, the son of an imam, but also addresses the aspects that hamper the advancement of his country, Guinea.

The FCAT will inaugurate its 14th edition with Félicité (2017), the new film by Alain Gomis, an artist who has just been awarded the Silver Bear – the Grand Jury Prize in Berlin –  and, for the second time in his career, what had only happened to a single filmmaker before, the highest award of Fespaco. This fictional feature tells the story of an independent and proud woman who works as a singer in a bar in Kinshasa. One day, his son was wounded in a terrible accident. While in hospital, Félicité tries to raise enough money for his surgery.

As always, the FCAT is also an opportunity to meet some of the filmmakers, in theaters or around an aperitif. It also offers the opportunity to learn: this year the Palaver Tree is installed at the Cinémathèque of Tangier, a must-see companion of this festival, which besides screening a dozen films of the program, also hosts debates and school sessions. The Cinémathèque, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is dedicated to developing the cinematographic culture in Morocco.

Movies, but also…

The Palaver Tree. The 5th Forum The Palaver Tree, which will take place from 27 April to 5 May, is dedicated once again to the training of professionals. Set to take place in Tangier, the Forum will involve workshops, encounters, debates and screenings aimed at both students from the Beaux Arts Faculty at the Tétouan University and the Martil Film School, as well as at residents of Tangier’s Berouaka Bendibane district, with the aim of enhancing social inclusion. Besides the screenings and debates organized at the Cinémathèque, students and residents of Berouaka Bendibane will be able to participate in a stop-motion animation workshop led by filmmaker Coke Riobóo, nominated for the Goya Prize this year. With the regular support of Spanish Cooperation, the main sponsor of this project via its ACERCA Programme for Capacity Building and Development in the cultural sector, and the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Public Administration and Policies (FIIAPP), this initiative supports the promotion of intercultural dialogue through education, culture and the use of the media as tools to overcome simplistic, reductionist and paternalistic discourses that impoverish both the other and all of us.

Parallel Activities. For those who wish to make a pause, the program of parallel activities in Tarifa offers exhibitions bringing together photographs of Moroccan youth, posters of the fight against apartheid or drawings and watercolors of a reinterpretation of Don Quixote on the Niger River; Literary walks in the alleys of the historic center of Tarifa with writers from both shores of the Strait of Gibraltar; for the little ones, fables and legends narrated by storytellers from West Africa; also scheduled is the concert of the Spanish-American artist Astrid Jones and the Blue Flaps, and all the concerts that the bars of Tarifa organize during the Festival Nights.

The work continues throughout the year

The festival does not only show films. Prior to each edition of the FCAT, it accomplishes a digitization work, then translates and subtitles the films in Spanish. Al Tarab, the association organizing the festival, has an archive of more than 900 African or on African theme titles subtitled in Spanish. This African media library, located at the University of Seville, is accessible to students and the public for on-site consultation.

The movies of this film fund circulate throughout the year thanks to the Cinenómada project. Thanks to this project, and in collaboration with the associative and cultural tissue, approximately 50 cycles and 201 sessions were organized in 2016 in 50 Spanish cities, thus generating new audiences for these cinemas and revenues for authors and film rights holders.

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