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Cave Hill, Barbados
Welcome to the fourth Barbados edition of this the Africa World Documentary Film Festival. The Festival is based in St. Louis, Missouri, where it was founded by filmmaker, writer and educator Professor Niyi Coker. As well as the St. Louis, MO and Barbados events, this year the Festival also runs in Yaoundé, Cameroon; Birmingham, AL; Lawrence, KS; Ile-Ife, Nigeria; and London, UK. All events on the schedule below are free of charge; please arrive punctually, as space is limited. Local curators: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Session One: Cultural Epiphanies
6:00 PM - 7:45 PM
Dominica: Charting a Future for Paradise.
Wyatt Bardouille (36m, Dominica, USA)
Dominica: Charting a Future for Paradise is a story about the nature island of Dominica. It is a story of vision and determination, about how this this small Caribbean country overcomes the challenges of nature, limited resources and a stagnant population to sustain herself as an independent nation. In 2008, Dominica celebrated 30 years of independence from Great Britain with an extraordinary nationwide reunion. It was a time for Dominica, local and abroad, to reflect on past struggles and achievements and share a vision of their future.
Colors of the Dominican Carnival
Donna Pinnick, Ruben Duran (54m, USA)
The colorful, chaotic, subversive, upside down world of carnival in the Dominican Republic is explored in a new documentary, Colores del Carnaval Dominicano. Colors took shape over the course of four years as the filmmakers travelled three times to the Dominican Republic and shot hundreds of hours; over a terabyte of digital film of interviews with mask makers, musicians, anthropologists, and the masqueraders who create the characters at the heart of carnival. They took to the streets of Santo Domingo to capture the joyful chaos, outrageous costumes, bizarre characters mugging for the camera. The result is a documentary set to the dancing rhythms of merengue, a tribute to the Dominican people, to their imagination, resilience and pride.
Session Two: Creative Resistance
7:45 PM - 10:00 PM
Jacquelyn Lobel (16m, USA)
Tengenenge is a village of sculpture artists located in a remote region of Zimbabwe. The film explores the history of the village, and reveals a slice of life in Tengenenge, a community that has withstood the odds and continues to survive because of its people's passion, energy and solidarity. Tengenenge is a glimmer of joy and optimism in a country on the brink of collapse.
The Story of Lovers Rock
Menelik Shabazz (97m, United Kingdom.)
In the 70s and 80s Britain was rife with racial tension and police harassment particularly against black British youths. These youths were the rebel generation who were also searching for an identity. They created music - a sub-genre of reggae known as Lovers Rock. This music became a global brand through artists like UB40 and Maxi Priest.
Friday, March 9, 2012
6:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Session Three: Witness I
6:00 PM - 8:35 PM
Goodbye Mandima (Kwa Heri Mandima)
Robert-Jan Lacombe (11m, Switzerland, DR Congo)
As a 10-year-old born and growing up in Mandima, the small village in northeast part of Democratic Republic of Congo (then still Zaire), Robert-Jan Lacombe, the son of European parents, never thought he would have to say goodbye. In this poignant short documentary, the director looks back on his unique and carefree childhood while studying a panoramic photograph documenting the day he left behind the only way of life he had ever known.
A Lot like You
Eliaichi Kimaro (80m, Tanzania)
Eliaichi Kimaro is a mixed-race, first-generation American who traces her father's footsteps back to a coffee farm on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. There she discovers both the beauty and the brutality of this world her father left behind 40 years earlier. This film raises questions about the cultures we inherit and the cultures we choose to pass down, and reveals how simply bearing witness to another's suffering can break silences that have lasted lifetimes.
White and Black: Crimes of Color
Jean-François Méan (58m, Tanzania, Canada)
In the East African region ten times more people have albinism than in North America and Europe. In Tanzania and parts of East Africa certain corrupt healers traffic in the body parts of persons with albinism (PWA). They sell them for magical potions and amulets to anyone who will dare to use them and prey upon deep-seated and long-standing prejudices and superstitions. Vicky Ntetema, former BBC Tanzania Bureau Chief, investigates the murders of PWA sweeping the country. She takes us into the lives of those terrorized by this scourge and we experience through their own eyes their fear and their courage.
Creative Resistance II
8:35 PM - 10:00 PM
The Creators: South Africa through the eyes of its artists
Laura Gamse (81m, South Africa)
Step into the lives of six artists sculpting South Africa's future from the fragments of a tumultuous past. The Creators explores the chaotic reality of modern day South Africa by peering through the eyes of its artists. Born into separate areas of the formerly-segregated country, the individuals reinterpret history in their own artistic languages. Weaving through the lives of Faith47 (street art), Warongx (Afro-blues), Emile (hip-hop), Sweat.X (performance), Blaq Pearl (spoken word) and Mthetho (opera), the film culminates in an intertwined multi-plot. As we grow closer to the individuals, we notice stark differences in their perspectives, exposing an intimate, refreshing, and deeply revealing portrait of those remolding the legacy of apartheid.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Session Five: The Eye and I (uses of media)
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Kieran Hanson (29m, UK)
A decade since Sierra Leone's devastating civil war, from the ashes rises a new dawn of creativity in audio-visual media. Inspired by Jean Rouch's 'shared anthropology' and 'ethno-fiction', Shooting Freetown follows three people forging their way in film and music in the nation's capital, facing the constant struggles with vision and resourcefulness. By incorporating collaborative video projects, their stories give a fresh image of post-war Freetown - presented to the world through their own lens.
Tarek Abouamin (19m, Egypt)
In an 18-day popular uprising that toppled a decades-long oppressive regime, the people of Egypt rose to change the social and political landscape of the region and the world. Many Egyptians paid with their lives in a fight against corruption and autocracy. They fought bravely for basic civil liberties, justice and freedom from a government that tortured, murdered its citizens, and embezzled billions of public money. Countless people risked their lives to tell the story to the world. This film is made with footage shot by protesters, revolutionaries, and everyday Egyptians.
Alistair Johnson (4m, Canada)
Based on a scene from the 1934 film "Imitation of Life" this short documentary illustrates the central absurdity of racism. It does this using a uniquely powerful device, reversing the polarity of Euro/African racism. This system claimed to divide White from Black but that is a conceit and the distinction was between White and non-White. Anyone with a trace of African ancestry was a slave or regarded as inferior. By reversing the polarity we create a Black/non-Black world so that anyone with a trace of European ancestry is regarded as inferior. This is counter intuitive and visually stunning. This short film shows how and why that came about and that for all the pain and suffering it causes the racist premise is completely ridiculous.
The Other Documentary
Yassine El Idrissi (58m, Morocco)
The documentary follows Mustapha, a disabled street performer, who sings ten hours a day to earn a living in the capital city of Morocco, Rabat. The film is a reflexive portrait into the manipulation and bi-directional influence between documentary making and the subject of the film. It also tries to investigate the nature of the media and its influence on the story.
Session Six: Urban Beats
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
We Win or We Die
Mathew Millan (21m, USA)
February, 2011. The people of Benghazi revolt against the brutal regime of Moammar Gaddafi. Yet standing in the way of liberation is the 2-mile sprawling fortress known as the Katiba. Holding hundreds of soldiers and heavy artillery, it stands poised to rain death down upon the protesters. The film is the story of an ordinary Libyan who understands that there is but one way to stop the bloodshed and one way to gain freedom. The sprawling fortress, the fist of Gaddafi, the Katiba must fall...
Sunday in Brazzaville (Dimanche a Brazzaville)
Enric Bach (51m, Spain & Congo)
A young radio talk host, Carlos La Menace, unveils in his weekend show three figures of Congo's capital, Brazzaville. The Sapeur Yves Saint Laurent, surrounded by extreme poverty, chooses elegance as a way of life. Cheriff Bakala is not a usual rapper. Finally, Palmas Yaya, Brazzaville's wrestling champion is relying on voodoo to defend its throne in a crucial moment of his life...
Why Do You Want To See My Face
Iqbal Barkat (9m, Australia)
This short film follows a young refugee as he wanders through his new home in Sydney, Australia. We are privy to his thoughts and reflections - how can he, life uprooted, learn to make small, tentative steps to live again in another land? How does he show his face when everywhere he turns, it is the mark of a problem? Through his soliloquy run themes current to the political and social landscape of Australia - illegal immigrants; who is a 'legitimate' refugee; the obligations that are expected of a refugee or migrant and what does it mean to be Australian.
Sara Blecher (85m, South Africa.)
Over the course of the last 3 years Cinga Productions has been following and documenting the lives of three of the most notorious train surfers in Soweto: Bitch Nigga, Lefa and Mzembe. We have followed them on to the top of trains hurtling through Soweto. We have followed them into the heroin dens of Hilbrow, and jails with names like Sun City - all in the hope of understanding their frustrations and documenting the lives of the new generation of youth in Soweto. Surfing Soweto is the story of this forgotten generation.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
3:00 PM - 5:25 PM
Session Seven: Close Encounters II
3:00 PM - 3:55 PM
The World's Youngest Nation: South Sudan
Viktor Pesenti (50m, UK, USA)
After 60 years of civil war, the Republic of South Sudan has emerged as the world's youngest nation. The documentary filmed on location in the Republic of South Sudan, explores the emergence of a new nation from civil war and its many hurdles. The Republic of South Sudan is not only the world's newest nation but it is also one of its youngest, with 70 percent the population being under 30 years of age. Yet it is the youth who give the new nation hope. Through the eyes of five Southern Sudanese youths, this documentary explores not just the politics of the country but also the creativity and courage of its youth in art, music, sports and education.
Session Eight: Witness II
3:55 PM - 5:25 PM
Murder in Mesopotamia
Andy Abrahams Wilson (14m, USA)
A young mother, much loved in her hometown of Mesopotamia, is brutally shot to death in this poor village of the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. The cold-blooded murder happened a day before she was to give court testimony against a man accused of raping her. Circumstances point to the accused rapist as the killer, but he is set free for lack of evidence. The townsfolk and victim's family talk poignantly about their fears and their desire for justice - vigilante or divine. "An eye for an eye…and a tooth for a tooth," originating in ancient Mesopotamia, takes on modern-day meaning in a forgotten village of the same name.
My Long Distance Friend
Carina Molier (73m, the Netherlands)
OG is a beautiful young woman who has wandered around Europe since she left Zimbabwe at the age of 9. From then on she has struggled to survive, continually seeking a balance in her life. OG strives to regain custody of her daughter taken from her at an early age. Director Carina Molier - her long distance friend - follows her in her quest for reunification and peace of mind. The documentary is about displacement, about longing for security and relationships in an ever globalizing and inhospitable world.
Session Nine: Living with your Neighbours
5:25 PM - 8:00 PM
Wesley Shrum (56m, Kenya, USA)
Brother Time is a mythic tale of neighbors from different tribes caught in a wider conflict. Kenya erupted in ethnic violence after the 2007 Presidential election, and the two friends fell apart when, suddenly, it was 'not the brother time.' Filmed in the Rift Valley during the clashes, the roots of tribalism are explored as one who saw the worst of the conflict returns home to see his neighbor. To be released during the 2012 Presidential campaign, this message of hope shows it can be Brother Time once again.
Sara Blecher (96m, South Africa)
It is 1989 and the struggle against apartheid in South Africa has reached its peak. Based on real events, the documentary tells the powerful story of three Zulu boys, Otelo Buthelezi and his friends, escape from the misery of their own harsh township lives through the joy of surfing. Overcoming his traditional fear of the water, Otelo Buthelezi discovers a natural talent, finding freedom on the waves and a huge potential for change through surfing. But in the turmoil of a country on the cusp of change, he is dragged down into a spiral of jealousy and violence. As Nelson Mandela finally walks free, Otelo must choose between two worlds that will change his life forever.