The African Cinema Seminars represent a unique Spanish language opportunity for film students, journalists, audiovisual professionals, or anyone interested in deepening their knowledge and understanding of African cinemas. Framed in the context of the IX Palaver Tree, this online course is broadcasted and offered via streaming access for the festival audience. The recording is also made available online to allow further access, in particular, to the festival followers in Equatorial Guinea and Latin America. The seminars are taught by film critic and programmer Javier H. Estrada, who has entitled this year’s course Breaking the chains. The search for freedom in the cinemas of Africa 

Breaking the chains.
The search for freedom in the cinemas of Africa.  

Physical and interior bars are key motifs in the history of African cinema. Filmmakers from all over the continent have depicted the repression to which their societies are exposed, but above all their unwavering spirit of struggle for freedom. Movements and battles led by daring individuals have incited drastic changes, encouraging hope and awareness for changes that are as complex as they are urgent.    

The course covers the works of fundamental masters such as Sarah Maldoror, Sidney Sokhona and Gadalla Gubara, as well as young talents who have burst onto the scene in recent years, such as Randa Maroufi, Philbert Aimé Mbabazi Sharangabo and Hajooj Kuka. 

Non-conformism and formal innovation are traits shared by all the authors that are analysed, as they are true aesthetic renovators who have also observed the realities of their countries with a profoundly critical eye. 

Opposition to colonialist brutality, overcoming the genocides that have marked different nations, the assertion of the rights of immigrants in Europe, and the birth of groundbreaking and absolutely independent film scenes are some of the themes that define the course. 

During four sessions, different cinematographies are explored, such as those of Sudan, Rwanda, Algeria and Morocco. This exploration demonstrates that they have been and they continue to be some of the most stimulating focal points, giving rise to film approaches that are as innovative, if not more so, than those that have emerged in the West. 

*The seminars will only be available in Spanish