The 10th Tree of Words is once again committed to professional encounters and the future of African cinema.

The award-winning filmmaker Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, one of the leading lights of the African avant-garde, will give a master class.

The industry space of the African Film Festival, FCAT LAB, will once again focus on new African film productions.

Tarifa, 23 May 2022. Training and professional opportunities – face-to-face and virtual – for the promotion of African cinemas as sustainable and transversal development spaces will make up the core of the X Forum of the Tree of Words, which will be held between 28 May and 3 June 2021 in the framework of the 19th FCAT.

The Tree of Words is an annual project of the African Film Festival-FCAT with the collaboration of the ACERCA Programme of training for development in the cultural sector of the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID). A space that will allow us to continue to delve into the evolution, the business and the film industry made in Africa. 

The branches of this tree continue to grow year after year at FCAT and its shade will shelter this year’s Thematic Encounters, as well as the festival’s industry space, FCAT LAB, the Film Classroom taught by Javier H. Estrada, the Film Aperitifs and a University Branch as a new space that seeks to strengthen the connection with the university and academic world.

Thematic Meetings

The space for dialogue and professional exchange will revolve around the discourses for transformation emerging from African cinema. This year, the Liceo del Casino Tarifeño will be the setting for the activities of The Tree of Words, which will begin on Monday 30 May with the title of the great retrospective of this edition of the FCAT: Between ink and screen. A face-to-face conversation on the links between cinema and literature, between the African and the global, which will bring together Mauritanian writer Beyrouk, Angolan writer and filmmaker Ondjaki, French film programmer and critic Olivier Hadouchi and Angolan filmmaker Mariano Bartolomeu, moderated by editor and cultural manager Alejandro de los Santos.

On Tuesday 31 it will be the turn to talk about Decolonial Film Praxis: Screen Worlds’ dialogue with FCAT, in a meeting that will be online and streamed. The core team of African Screen Worlds (from the renowned SOAS-University of London) will share their different experiences, film projects and eclectic research approaches to reflect on what it means to decolonise from the screen. Participants will include Lindiwe Dovey, lecturer and senior researcher, Añulika Agina, postdoctoral researcher, specialising in Nigerian cinemas, Michael W. Thomas, postdoctoral researcher, specialising in Ethiopian cinemas and Nobunye Levin, postdoctoral researcher, specialising in the decolonisation of screen worlds.

Decolonising the gaze. Cinema and Contemporary Creation will be the theme of June the 1st. This round table, promoted in collaboration with the University of Seville, analyses the initiatives carried out by artistic institutions, as well as the critical gaze of contemporary creation and cinema towards a changing world, addressing post-colonial processes, migrations, inequalities, multiculturalism and the new identity processes of recent decades. With Rafael Rodríguez López, professor and researcher, University of Málaga, Yassine Chouati, visual artist, Luis Martínez Montiel, researcher and deputy director of CICUS, University of Seville and Beatriz Mbula, actress and scriptwriter. It will be moderated by Luís Méndez, director of the CICUS, University of Seville.

Another great event will be with the filmmaker and visual artist from Lesotho, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, whose films are on the list of winners at the major festivals and who, this year, is part of the international jury of the FCAT, will then offer a master class – in person and broadcast – at the Liceo del Casino Tarifeño. The critic and programmer Javier H. Estrada will talk with the director about his vision, which is considered to be one of the most innovative in contemporary sub-Saharan cinema.

University Branch

In addition to the thematic meetings from Tarifa, the University of Cadiz joins this year’s edition of the Tree of Words with a professional meeting on its campus entitled Filming in Africa beyond stereotypes: case studies and laboratory of ideas. The Andalusian filmmakers Lorenzo Benítez and Alejandro Salgado, together with the actor and co-founder of The Black View, Armando Buika, moderated by the director of the Cadiz Film School, Bruto Pomeroy, will approach Africa and the African from the cinema, not only as a destination, but also as a space for film co-productions beyond the stereotypes and simplisms that, on too many occasions, continue to reduce the gaze to the north of the Strait of Gibraltar.

Among other objectives, this new branch will seek to create a new network among all those who study and disseminate knowledge about the cinemas of Africa in Spanish, consolidating the FCAT also as that unique meeting space that every year brings together and connects theorists and researchers with authors, creators and professionals of the cinemas of the neighbouring continent.   



The 19th African Film Festival once again rolls out the carpet to the industry with the FCAT LAB, the post-production workshop of The Tree of Words, also supported by the Goethe Institut and the Institut Français, which, in addition to the training with international experts from the forums and the masterclass, will offer one-to-one meetings and a project market. Despite an international context full of uncertainties, in recent years we can register not only an increase in the production of African films, but also the increased interest that these works generate at major international festivals and in global audiovisual markets. Still, compared to film production in many other regions of the world, African cinema remains under-resourced and suffers from lower visibility compared to other cinemas.

The second edition of FCAT LAB, which will be held on 2 and 3 June 2022, continues its commitment to the online format, thanks to the support of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the Goethe Institut Madrid and the Institut Français, as well as the collaboration of various Spanish and international companies. With this initiative, FCAT continues to tangibly support feature film projects from Africa through awards at the project market and presentations to sales agents, distributors, VOD platforms, programmers and buyers in general. 

At the same time, the FCAT LAB seeks to increase the visibility of Andalusian and Spanish post-production companies in the audiovisual market of the neighbouring continent, a reality that is becoming more and more booming and recognised, in which the national business fabric can expand its presence thanks to the great professionalism and competitiveness of its companies.

Among other prizes, promoted with organisations and specialised companies in the film sector, and totalling 20,000 euros, Al-Tarab will offer its own FCAT LAB prize, endowed with 3,000 euros for post-production costs of the winning film.

Six projects have been selected for FCAT LAB 2022: Abo zabaal prison 1989, by Bassam Mortada (Seera Media Production, Egypt); Bufis,by Mahad Ahmed and Vincenzo Cavallo (Cultural Video Production and Unafilm, Somalia, Kenya, Germany; Jump the wall, by Mohamed Zineddaine (Janaprod & Ouarzazate Films, Morocco); Le mouton de sada by Pape Bouname Lopy (Groupe Lydel Com, Senegal, Burkina Faso); So that we stay alive by Amine Kabbes (Thala Films Production, Algeria); and The burdened by Amr Gamal (Station Films and Adenium Production, Sudan, Yemen).

The jury that will evaluate the pitching of these projects will be made up of Gabor Greiner, head of international sales at the Films Boutique agency, Faissol Gnonlonfin, executive producer and director of feature film and series production in sub-Saharan Africa, and Thibaut Bracq, head of the Atlas Workshops, the event and professional platform of the Marrakech Film Festival. 

Among the activities, the ICAA has programmed the Spanish Post-Production Showcase on Thursday 2 June, which will be both in person and broadcast and in which five Spanish companies specialising in post-production will be able to represent the opportunities that the Spanish audiovisual sector can offer African productions in the post-production phase.

In addition, on the same day, there will be a presentation aimed at African audiovisual professionals of Who is Who – Shooting in Spain, a guide that brings together information on the industry in Spain and its business and professional fabric. This work is promoted by ICEX-Invest in Spain, with the collaboration of the sector through the Association of Spanish International Audiovisual Production Companies (PROFILM), the Audiovisual Industry Alliance (ALIA), the Association of Spanish Advertising Production Companies (APCP) and the Spain Film Commission.

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