Parent Category: Film Festivals
Published on Tuesday, 26 March 2013 10:00
Written by Matt Oakes
SIFF is renowned for not only its massive size but its near limitless scope as the festival, which spans 25 days, features over 250 full length and 150 short films from over 70 countries worldwide.
Last year, SIFF was awarded a grant by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to sponsor their blossoming African Pictures program. As part of this new charter, SIFF has an unparalleled opportunity to bring African films which would otherwise go largely unnoticed to a new, Western audience.
Festival coordinator Carl Spence had the following to say:
"We are excited to launch African Pictures as a major program of the Seattle International Film Festival. With vital support from AMPAS along with other partners we look forward to the opportunity to shine a light on and bring awareness to provocative, relevant and entertaining stories being told across the continent of Africa through the medium of film."
Amongst this maiden African Picture program is an eclectic group of features sure to capture the attention of many festival-goers. The twelve films included in this year's African Pictures category each offer a unique perspective on modern Africa and span genres from rom-com to suspense, documentary to drama.
- Documentarian Bryan Little focuses his camera on street dance throughout South Africa in The African Cypher, a North American premiere which presents the punchy soul of modern African dance.
- Coming Forth by Day comes forth from female Arab filmmaker Hala Lofty and focuses on the living relationship between a mother and daughter in modern day Egypt.
- Filmmakers worldwide will be sure to enjoy this provocative first look at Hillywood, the Rwandan Film Industry, in Leah Warshawski’s lovingly made Finding Hollywood. Warshawksi’s film sets it’s sights on the emerging culture of film and filmmakers within the auspicious confines of Rwanda.
- Following up on the 2011 SIFF hit Spud, Spud 2 returns to the life of the titular character going through the motions in a South African boarding school and features the return of Monty Python alum John Cleese.
- An impactful and important look at climate change and human influence in Mali, Sand Fishers by Samouté Andrey Diarra takes the narrative of a group of fishermen forced out of a job due to overfishing and turn to collecting sand and gravel to sell to the local big cement industry.
- Comrade President by Mosco Kamwendo of Zimbabwe documents the life and death of revolutionary leader Samora Moises Machel and illuminates the shifting political winds within the Mozambican government and the eternal struggle for independence.
- From South Africa director Henk Pretorious comes Fanie Fourie’s Lobola, a new age rom-com that explores the cross pollination of cultures in the midst of a multi-cultural wedding.
- Kasper Bisgaard of Uganda brings his film Kampala story which follow the young Apio, a 14-year-old Karamojong girl, as she tries to find her father after he suddenly stops sending money home to her and her mother.
- Co-financed between Nigeria and the UK, Obi Emelonye’s Last Flight to Abuja is already a bona fide box-office hit even before it’s North American Premiere and focuses on a group of airline passengers as they deal with romance, blackmail and murder.
- First time filmmaker Joel Karekezi takes a heart wrenching look at the twisted ethos that led to the Rwandan genocide with The Pardon (Imbabazi) which deals with a pair of friends who fight on different sides of the horrific genocide and how they struggle to make amends later.
- The Repentant, directed with heart and panache by Merzak Allocate, showcases a Jihadist who escapes his violent lifestyle in pursuit of peace and a new lease on life only to find that his past isn’t as escapable as he might have thought.
Running from May 16 - June 9, the Seattle International Film Festival will play a host of venues including the SIFF Cinema Uptown, SIFF Film Center, AMC Pacific Place, Egyptian Theatre, Harvard Exit, Marion Oliver McCaw Hall, MOHAI and the Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center.
For more info on the Seattle International Film Festival go to: http://www.siff.net/festival-2013