Tuesday, November 5, 2019

AFRIFF 2019 Opens With Syrian War Documentary, "For Sama" on Sunday

"Sama, you are the most beautiful thing in our life, but what a life I have brought you into."
- Waad al-Kateab in 2016.

The 2019 African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) will open on Sunday, November 10 with the critically acclaimed gripping Syrian war documentary film, "FOR SAMA". The multiple award winning eyewitness accounts of a brave Syrian mother, Waad al-Kateab will echo the traumatic agonies of the unfortunate victims in similar terrifying conflicts raging in northern Nigeria and southern Sudan. Waad al-Kateab’s bravery symbolises the theme of this year, "SHEROES" celebrating the heroism of brave women in the existential challenges of life on earth.

“We are proud to theme this year’s festival as one dedicated to SHEROES, those who enable us to dream and to celebrate storytelling which challenge society. We are very much focused on training and supporting more female filmmakers this year and beyond," said Ms. Chioma Ude, the Founder and CEO of AFRIFF.

FOR SAMA is both an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her.  Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival as Waad wrestles with an impossible choice– whether or not to flee the city to protect her daughter’s life, when leaving means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much.
The film is the first feature documentary by Emmy award-winning filmmakers, Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts.

FOR SAMA was awarded the Prix L’Œil d’Or for Best Documentary at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. It also won the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary at the SXSW Film Festival, and the Special Jury Prize for International Feature Documentary at the Hot Docs Festival.

AFRIFF 2019 will be held from Sunday, November 10 - Saturday, November 16 at the Filmhouse Cinemas, Landmark & Landmark Retail Boulevard on Victoria Island, Lagos.

The 9th edition comes with competition for highly coveted Globe Awards by over 150 films selected from more than 4000 entries submitted by filmmakers in Africa and the Diaspora. The programme includes special sessions of workshops and master classes; including a Directing Masterclass by Phillip Noyce, the famous Australian Hollywood director, producer and screenwriter, known for several award winning films and a masterclass on Documentary Filmmaking featuring Robert R. Hurst, Kansas African Studies Center of the University of Kansas, USA.

The closing film is ‘The Ghost and the House of Truth’ directed by Akin Omotoso and produced by Ego Boyo.

2019 Film Selection

Burial Of Kojo – Blitz Bazawule (Ghana) The Lost Okoroshi – Abba Makama (Nigeria) Knuckle City – Jahmil Qubeka (South Africa) Walking With Shadows – Aoife O’kelly (Uk/Nigeria) The Last Tree – Shola Amoo (UK) Running Against The Wind – Jan Phillip Weyi (Ethiopia) Our Lady Of The Nile – Atik Rahimi (Rwanda/France) Dhalinyaro (Youth) – Lula Ali Ismail (Djibouti) The Man Who Cuts Tattoos – Mike Omonua (Nigeria) We Are Thankful – Joshua Magor (South Africa) Ghost And The House Of Truth – Akin Omotoso (Nigeria) Gold Coast Lounge – Pascal Aka (Ghana) Rattlesnakes – Julius Amedume (USA)


At Jolie Coiffure – Rosine Mbakam (Belgium/Cameroon) Nigeria’s Lost Generation – Charlie Luckoc (Nigeria) Between God & I – Yara Cosat (Mozambique) Meeting My Father – Alassane Diago (Senegal) The Sound Of Masks – Sara Cf De Gouveia (Mozambique/South Africa) Buddha In Africa – South Africa (Nichole Schaffer) Sankara Is Not Dead – Burkina Faso (Lucie Viver) In Search – Kenya (Beryl Magoko) On Air – Burundi (Manno Lassens) When Babies Don’t Come – South Africa (Molatelo Mainetje) The Money Stone – Usa/Ghana (Stuart Harmon) Gao, Resistance Of A People – Mali (Kassim Sanogo) Time Is On Our Side – Burkina Faso/Belgium (Katy Lena Ndiaye) Silent Forests – Cameroon/Congo/Usa (Mariah Wilson) Dying For Gold – South Africa (Catherine Meyburgh, Richard Pakleppa)


Miracle – Bongi Ndaba (South Africa) The King’s Ghost – Rapahele Benisty (Ivory Coast) To Return A King – Daniel Order (Nigeria) Team Marilyn – Latoya Morgan (United States) A Cemetary Of Doves – Tokunboh Sangodoyin (Nigeria) Watumwa – Timmy Otukoya (South Africa) Jungle Justice – Idowu Okeniyi (Ghana) Money Marriage – Emeka Chukwuleta (Nigeria) Dark Room – Kagho Idhebor (Nigeria) Nirvana – Richard Governor Owusu (Ghana) Life At The Bay – Nora Awolowo (Nigeria) 180° – Mohamed Reda Kouzi (Morocco) Wallflower – Joel Adegboye (Nigeria) Caught Up – Afolabi Olalekan (Nigeria) Blackwood – Kalu Oji (Australia) Shaka’s Mask – Maishe Mosala (South Africa) Soapmakers Of Samabogo – Hannah Stanton-Jones, Tadg O’keeffe (Mali) My Dreams – Kehinde Temitope Odutayo (Nigeria) Makoko: The Floating Slum – Reggie Akingbade, Debo Johnson (Nigeria) Missing – Achiri Victor (Cameroon) Oga John – Tolulope Ajayo (Nigeria) David The Iria Brothers – Austin “Ehiz” Iria And Ose Iria (Nigeria) Appreciation – Tomisin Adepeju (United Kingdom) Morning Ride – Omar Nana Owusu (Ghana) Fade – Bunmi Ajakaiye (Nigeria) Baxu And The Giants – Florian Schott (Namibia) Oblivion – Joseph Entekume (Nigeria) The Audition – Ayomide Adeleke (Nigeria) My Tyson – Claudio Casale (Italy) 24 Truths (24 Verites) – Selim Gribaa (Tunisia) Eulogy – Shirley Urhobo-Enebong (Nigeria) The Untold – Chika Okoromadu (Nigeria) And Me And You – Richie Campbell (United Kingdom) The Second – Mpumelelo Kheswa (South Africa) Little Black Dress – Esteri Tebandeke (Uganda) The Budding Artists – Adekunle Bajo (Nigeria) Vitiligo – Soraya Milla (Côte D’Ivoire) Our Albertina – Chantel Clark.

Click here for the complete 2019 Film Selection.

The major sponsors of AFRIFF 2019 are Access Bank, US Consulate, Nvivo TV, National Film Video Censors Board, Filmhouse Group and Century Group.

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