After many projects were left on the back burner following the long, freezing winter of 2020 and its various confinements, spring returned with new blossoms. 2021 has been a good harvest for African film production. The African presence at major international festivals was quite high last year, and Fespaco, the biggest event for African cinemas on the continent, was held again in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) after an absence of almost three years.
This offered a wide range of possibilities for this year’s selection. We have chosen ten titles among the most daring at a formal level, imbued with great visual poetry. Works by young directors, most of which are first or second feature films by their authors. Films that dialogue with each other on issues of exile, from the dream of an idealised place (Faya Dayi) to uprooting, the violence of the host country (Lèv la tèt dann fenwar) and the struggle for dignity (Xaraasi Xanne); films that propose a representation of women far from clichés (Black Medusa), of their emancipation and empowerment (Feathers, Freda), but also that underline the necessary liberation of men from their own mental shackles (Une histoire d’amour et désir); films that revisit traumas and forgotten episodes of history (Constelaçoes do Equador), portray the concerns and aspirations of youth (Nous, étudiants !) or project an Afrofuturist, anti-colonialist, anti-capitalist and queer vision of the continent (Neptune Frost).