Monthly Archives: May 2010

Filming against the Odds Conference on 50 years of filmmaking in independent Africa: Call for papers, Deadline 31 July 2010

(From H-Afrilitcine)

FILMING AGAINST THE ODDS Indaba on 50 Years of Film in Independent Africa

CALL FOR PAPERS African Media Centre, University of Westminster, London, UK / LONDON AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL Filming Against the Odds Conference, London, 27-28 November 2010

This is a call for papers from the African Media Centre at the University of Westminster for a one-day conference on 50 years of filmmaking in independent Africa. A half a century ago, Sub-Saharan Africa welcomed independence with a wave of optimism. A new cinema was born, championed by the Senegalese film-maker Ousmane Sembène. This new cinema would provide a conduit of expression for voiceless Africans – revealing social conditions and sharing stories. Sembène’s first short film, Borom Sarret, was a watershed. It reached a worldwide audience with a plot based on the tale of a poor cart driver whose tragic life mirrored the hazards facing many ordinary people. Borom Sarret’s issues became dominant themes in African cinema. Prior to political independence, colonial rule did not allow Africans to make their own films. African independence seems to have given the environment needed to produce African stories on the screen. Not only was political independence a subject in films, but the environment it created gave an added impetus to both independent and institutionally supported film-making in Africa.

African filmmakers have produced stories that celebrate success and failure in their societies. African history, language and etymology are evident in the ways in which some filmmakers have sought an independent form to help indigenize the medium. Today, Nigeria has become the centre of a lucrative home video industry known as Nollywood. According to a recent UN statement, around 900 titles are released in Nigeria each year and bring revenue of about £100m, and Nigeria has surpassed Hollywood to become the world’s second largest film producer after Bollywood. Movies are made on the cheap and copies are exported, sold on the street, or distributed via increasing numbers of video clubs. The film-makers have to work fast and around the clock in their desperate attempt to fend off the pirates. The contemporary African film industry is clearly of global proportions.

 However, the questions that must be asked are: whose languages are spoken in African film? What are the patterns of stories that have been told so far? What formats do African filmmakers use? What themes? How has funding affected what is produced? What are the politics of film-making in Africa? Apart from development, education and entertainment, has film on the continent advanced the emancipation of Africans? What has been the relationship between political independence and African film?

The conference will include a session with leading African filmmakers. Papers may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following: – Precolonial film in Africa – Contemporary and historical dimensions of film in Africa – Language and African film – African languages and film in Africa – Global, national, local aspects of film in Africa – Screen media Africa – Identity politics and the media in Africa – Film funding in Africa – Educational film in Africa – Politics and film in Africa – Distributing films in Africa – Style and aesthetics of African film – History of African film – Film audiences in Africa

Please e-mail your 200-word abstract to Helen Cohen at: All submissions must include the title of the conference, topic, an abstract and should list the author’s full name, with contact information and affiliation. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 31 July 2010 and those whose abstracts are accepted will be notified by 5 August 2010. Conference Fees: Unwaged/Students: £50 Waged/Non-Students: £125 Fees cover registration, conference pack, lunch, coffee/tea and wine reception

Call for submissions to new Journal of African Cinemas


Journal of African Cinemas

ISSN: 1754-9221

Journal of African Cinemas is a new peer-reviewed journal. We are accepting submissions for Volume IV scheduled for 2011.

The theme for this issue is:

The Many Cinemas of Africa

 We are looking for submissions for theoretical essays, reviews, and comparative analyses regarding African cinema through its historical and contemporary legacies. We concentrate on the growing African cinematic society, as it interrogates African ontologies with regard to the African filmmaker’s conceptualization of space, time and identity.


Articles of up to 6000 words will be considered.  Please send both digital or/& hardcopies to either one of the editors: Keyan G Tomaselli (<> CCMS, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College Campus, Durban 4041, South Africa;

or Martin Mhando (<>

Intellect, The Mill, Parnall Road, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3JG, UK. <>

Other journals by Intellect: Creative Industries Journal, Northern Lights, The Soundtrack, Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance, Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Studies in Australasian Cinema, Studies in Documentary Film, Studies in Russia and Soviet Cinema, Studies in European Cinema, Studies in French Cinema, Studies in Hispanic Cinemas, New Cinemas, and Film International etc

Please find our Email Disclaimer here–>: <>

Africa in Motion Short Film Competition: Deadline 14 June 2010

(As posted on H-Net West Africa)


For the third year, the Africa in Motion (AiM) film festival is inviting
African filmmakers to submit short films of up to 30 minutes for the
festival’s short film competition. In order to target the competition
specifically towards young and emerging African film talent, filmmakers
who enter a film for consideration must not have completed a
feature-length film previously. Films entered must have been completed in
2007 or after.
A shortlist from all the entries will be selected and announced by the end
of August 2010. From this shortlist, the competition winner will be chosen
by a high profile jury and announced at an awards ceremony at the Africa
in Motion festival in October 2010. The jury will consist of local and
international film specialists and established African filmmakers.

All shortlisted films will be screened at the festival. In addition to the
overall first prize selected by the jury, an audience choice award will be
selected by the audience at the screenings and announced at the end of the

The deadline for short film competition entries has been extended to 14 June
2010. Please see our website for full submission
guidelines and to download the entry form. Please read carefully through the
submission guidelines and email the festival co-directors Lizelle
Bisschoff and Stefanie van de Peer with further enquires at:

Stefanie van de Peer
Africa in Motion Film Festival