The Future is Africa

IL KINO & Sinema Transtopia, Berlin, Germany
29 Jun 2023 - 04 Jul 2023

Xalé, Filmstill, The Future Is Africa, Credits @SetBetSet-Les Film Du Continent

Xalé, Filmstill, The Future Is Africa, Credits @SetBetSet-Les Film Du Continent

On Thursday, 29 June 2023, the second edition of the children and youth film festival The Future is Africa opens in Berlin with artistic contributions from the African continent and the African Diaspora. This year, the festival’s focus lies on female perspectives in African Cinema – both by shining light on the diverse range of contemporary gendered realities and perspectives on the African continent and showcasing a wide selection of young female filmmakers.

The festival is presented by Christoph Schlingensief’s Opera Village Africa. Running until 4 July, 22 films of various genres will be presented at two locations – IL KINO in Neukölln and Sinema Transtopia in Wedding. The full program, curated by Guyanese-born and London based film curator June Givanni can be found here.

The festival kicks off with the German premiere of the Senegalese Oscar entry Xalé by Moussa Sène Absa. The film is a relentless portrait of the hardships faced by many women in Senegal, sensitively conveying the pain and guilt that the patriarchal system can inflict. After Tableau Ferraille and L’Extraordinaire destin de Madame Brouette, Xalé is the director’s third film about strong female characters. The screening of the movie will be followed by a discussion with the director and June Givanni.

Two panel discussions with African filmmakers and representatives of migrant-diasporic perspectives will take place during the festival, thematically addressing gender inequality in the African film industry and across the world, while critically questioning the representation of women in film.

Free film screenings for school classes will be offered as part of the festival. Additionally, in cooperation with African film experts, workshops for school classes and youth associations are planned, which will support intercultural exchange and introduce young people to the art of cinema in practice. More information at festspielhaus@schlingensief.com.

Although African film festivals and sections at European film festivals are receiving increasing attention, female filmmakers continue to be severely disadvantaged by the patriarchal structures in many African states and the film industry in general. In
the wake of political crises and instabilities, prevailing gender norms and power relations worldwide lead to increased discrimination against girls and women. Even in Europe, the process towards equality is far from complete. Recent movements such as the #MeToo debate show that in Western societies the issue of ‘emancipation’ and ‘gender equality’ as well as equal participation in overall societal processes is not guaranteed.

Through its focus on female perspectives, the film festival The Future is Africa aims to link current international discourses on the relevance of education – especially for girls in the global south – and expose the system of gender-specific role distribution and the resulting lack of future prospects for young women and girls.




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