Future of African cinema lies on smart movies

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The professional forum at the African Film Festival of Cordoba-FCAT, known as FCAT Espacio Profesional, has given voice today to the filmmakers of emerging projects aimed at the online distribution.

The round table, ‘An outlook on the audiovisual sector in Africa’, has started with an outlook of the history of African film festivals, the relation with festivals and the digital, and the capacity of the festivals of building audiences and allowing the existence and distribution of African films.

These points, supported by Dr Lindiwe Dovey, founder of London Film Africa, and professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies (U. London). This panellist has been followed by Enrico Chiesa, director of Africanfilms.tv, who has been contributing to the festival since the foundation of the online site in 2011.

Chiesa has explained that they have just launched an initiative consisting on providing audiences with a series of films taken from the FCAT film archive.

This initiative, that will start on the 18th of October, dovetailing with the closing and awards ceremony of the festival, will allow audiences to stream and watch these films in their own computers. ‘African film must enjoy the great advantages of the new ITCs in order to meet the enormous audience’, Enrico Chiesa has stated.

The VoD (Video on Demand) site, funded by the ACP States and the European Union, aimed at promoting the African film sector and the cooperation among professionals in Africa, Spain and beyond. The project, based in Dakar, is also available in Mali and France, other than in Senegal. During his speech, the director of Africafilms.tv has highlighted the importance of reinventing smart cinema to prompt a popular cinema.

The five selected films to be provided out of charge to the surfers for a week are Ezra, by Nigerian filmmaker Newton I. Aduaka; the German-Kenyan coproduction Soul Boy, by Hawa Essuman; Surfing Soweto, by Sara Blecher; Il va pleuvoir sur Conakry, by Cheik Fantamady Camara, screened at the festival; and Jimmy Dakar Soul, by Marina Aguirre and David García, an international premier at FCAT Cordoba 2013.

However, Africafilms.tv is not the only one aimed at the online distribution of African cinemas. The round table has also counted on Russell Southwood, who has presented Smart Monkey Tv , a Youtube channel linked to Balancing Act, an online site devoted to information and communication of African issues and cultures. Southwood has shared Chiesa’s point on the necessity of enjoying the new tools, such as the smartphone, which has become the “medium of choice in Africa”.

FCAT Espacio Profesional concludes today with the forum of production and co-production in Africa and Spain. The festival will celebrate its closing and awards ceremony this evening, revealing the five winners out of the 27 films on competition.

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