Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Paul Theroux (Dark Star Safari)
Less than a year ago, I had never been to Africa. There was
no reason to go. I had no need. It was more a question of
reluctance, or even fear. It took a while, maybe several years,
before I realised that there would never be any reason to
go to Africa. That I would have to make a reason.
You don’t have to be a connoisseur to see that African
cinema is barely represented at international film festivals
and that the few films that are shot in Africa are often not
on an international level and usually come from the same
couple of countries – especially from Francophone
countries in West Africa. Not that African films aren’t
welcome – on the contrary, even a mediocre film would be
received with open arms.
I had the possibly naive thought that if I went to other
countries – countries that are not represented on the
cinematographic map – I might find something anyway.
Probably not mature, beautifully produced features, but
IF F  K   20 10
possibly some nice short films or documentaries. And why
not local genre films that might also work beyond their
intended audience? But at the same time I was afraid to
return home empty-handed. And basically I didn’t want to
go there empty-handed either.
Then I had an idea, the consequences of which I could not
immediately see. I imagined going to each country I was to
visit with an international film maker in tow. The knife
would then cut in several ways. This filmmaker would be
inspired by the journey and the confrontation with a
different culture and could make a short film for the festival.
At the end of the project, I would at least have a program,
for the filmmaker would in addition make contact with
local filmmakers easier and more interesting. For
filmmakers it is, after all, more interesting to talk about
cameras and actors with a filmmaker with an international
reputation than about premieres or even financing with a
festival programmer.

No comments:

Post a Comment