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AfroCine: Celebrating African cinema around the world

Old cinema in Stone Town, the historic centre of Zanzibar City, Tanzania. Photo by: Georgia Popplewell/Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This Special Coverage page is the result of a partnership between Global Voices and Wikimedia's AfroCine Project, which aims to ensure that African cinema is much more visible, accessible and celebrated on Wikipedia.

The entertainment industry in Africa is huge. Nigerian cinema is currently ranked as the third largest film industry in the world, in terms of revenue and production output. Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, and Egypt also have major film industries.

However, information about those booming industries in Wikipedia is limited and scattered. In order to bridge the gap, a group of Wikipedia editors launched the AfroCine Project to encourage the contribution of content to Wikipedia projects that relate to the historical and contemporary cinema, theatre, and arts sectors of African countries, the Caribbean and the diaspora.

Since 2005, Global Voices contributors in sub-Saharan Africa have written about the film industry and films in their countries that are underreported in mainstream media. We've compiled over 40 of those posts from more than 20 countries.

Africa (regional)

Brazil

Cape Verde

  • A Story of Accessibility — Daivarela, on his blog, tells [pt] the story of how a Capeverdean journalist, Maria Zinha, has successfully received a diploma in Cinema and Audiovisual, despite the accessibility barriers she constantly faces in the island of Mindelo to do her job, where “stairs are the main difficulty”.

Colombia

Egypt

  • Documentary Libido Challenges Egyptians to Talk About Sex – Libido is a short documentary discussing sexuality in Egypt. Following the internet sensation, Global Voices Online's Ahmed Awadalla probes further and talked to filmmaker Youssef Alimam.
  • Filmpoem “Prayer of Fear” Stuns Egypt — The Egyptian citizen collective Mosireen has been tirelessly documenting the #Jan25 revolution and the events that followed in images and documentaries. One of their very last creations is “Prayer of Fear”, a ‘film-poem’ by Mahmoud Ezzat narrated by Mosireen member Salma Said.

France

Ghana

  • The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo — “This feature-length documentary charts Ama Ata Aidoo's creative journey in a life that spans seven decades from colonial Ghana, through the tumultuous era of independence, to a soberer present-day Africa where nurturing women's creative talent remains as hard as ever.”
  • Shining Light on Akan/Twi Movies — African Movie Critic shines a light on Akan/Twi movies from Ghana: “I have always said local movies in both Ghana and Nigeria (e.g. Yoruba movies) ALWAYS seem to have a better storyline. Why is that? Is it because the actors and actresses are able to perform better and let the story shine when acting in their own local dialect? And if so why not maybe do more of such movies with confidence that nonetheless, it will still make an international film festival.”
  • The Witches of Gambaga — By writer and filmmaker Yaba Badoe.
  • New Ghanaian movie — “‘Sinking Sands’ is about a couple, Jimah (Jimmy Jean-Louis from Haiti) and Pabi (Ama K. Abebrese from Ghana) in a loving marriage which turns into one of violence and abuse when Jimah becomes disfigured in a domestic accident.”
  • The emergence of Ghanaian movies— The emergence of the Ghanaian movie industry: Ghanaian movies are starting to gun for awards. Revele Productions’ “Run Baby Run” has been the most successful movie to date while Agony of the Christ picked up a bunch of nominations at the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAAs).

Guinea-Bissau

Haiti

Jamaica

  • Meet the Anti-Discrimination Non-Profit Behind the Jamaican Version of a ‘Privilege Walk’ — “We believe that everyone, no matter who they are, is deserving of respect. […] This is necessary for changing the course [of] human rights development in Jamaica.”
  • Jamaica Loses a Visionary With the Passing of Artist Peter Dean Rickards — One Twitter user, mourning the artist's death, remembered him saying, “I just wanna cause enough shit to be a good bar story for a hundred years or so.” Mission accomplished.
  • When Bob Marley Went to Africa — “The film opens on the Ghanaian coast at the remnants of a slave post, the camera then pans over the Atlantic, finally settling on the green hills of rural Jamaica (Marley’s birthplace Nine Mile) from where it picks up Bob Marley’s story, thus cementing a link between the continent and its new world diaspora.”
  • The Iconic Trinidadian Film You've Never Seen — In 1974, Bim—widely regarded as the iconic Trinidadian film—was released, then faded into obscurity. 40 years later, one film enthusiast gives it new life via Facebook.
  • Black Power Documentary — “You could put all of the scholarship produced by the University of the West Indies and all the newspaper and TV stories done about the 1970 uprising in Trinidad and Tobago on one side and, when you tossed the single DVD of ’70: Remembering a Revolution into the other pan, the scale would come crashing down on ‘70’s side”.

Kenya

  • Movie About Oldest Kenyan Primary School Pupil — “The First Grader,” a movie about Maruge – the oldest Kenyan primary school pupil: “I am gutted that they didn't call the movie ‘Form One’ – which would have been a lot more apt and less corny, however, it's the true story of a man in his 80s who asserted his right to free primary education in 2004 when the Kenya government announced that primary education would be free for ALL (Kenyans).”

Madagascar

Malawi

  • Malawian Film Helps Farmers Cope With Climate Change — The film is a drama using local actors and was devised with Malawian writer Jonathan Mbuna following extensive research with various agricultural NGOs in Malawi.
  • Moving Windmills: The William Kamkwamba Story — “Moving Windmills” is a documentary that tells the true story of William Kamkwamba, a young innovator from Malawi, Africa, who taught himself to generate electricity by building a windmill from found materials and scrap parts.

Mali

Mauritania

Morocco

Nigeria

  • Banned Occupy Nigeria Documentary Goes Viral — A Nigerian documentary about the government's removal of a fuel subsidy last year, which sparked the country's Occupy Nigeria protest, has gone viral on the Nigerian blogosphere after authorities banned the film.
  • Documentary: Nigeria’s Millionaire Preachers — A new documentary: “Unreported World: Nigeria’s Millionaire Preachers”, which touches on the issues of fraud and exploitation: “The documentary makers reported on the case of Therese, a widower who was told her late husband was a member of a devil-worshipping cult and persuaded Therese that God wanted her to sell everything her husband owned.”

Sierra Leone

  • Say Grace Before Drowning — “Say Grace Before Drowning” is a film by Sierra Leonean/American Nikyatu Jusu: “The film tells the story about a woman’s struggle to overcome the insanity of war as she tries to adjust to a life in exile.”

Somalia

South Africa

  • Talking Heads Project Showcases What is Extraordinary About People in Africa — Talking Heads is a project of the Africa Centre, a non-profit cultural organization based in Cape Town, South Africa. Talking Heads produces audio casts and short films, which are freely available on YouTube and iTunes.
  • Sci-Fi Novel “Zoo City” to Get Film Adaptation — “After winning several literary awards and garnering global acclaim for its clever originality, South African author Lauren Beukes’ science-fiction novel, Zoo City, recently saw its film rights awarded to producer Helena Spring (Red Dust, Yesterday, The First Grader), a fellow South African.”

South Sudan

Tanzania

Trinidad and Tobago

  • The Iconic Trinidadian Film You've Never Seen — In 1974, Bim—widely regarded as the iconic Trinidadian film—was released, then faded into obscurity. 40 years later, one film enthusiast gives it new life via Facebook.
  • Black Power Documentary — “You could put all of the scholarship produced by the University of the West Indies and all the newspaper and TV stories done about the 1970 uprising in Trinidad and Tobago on one side and, when you tossed the single DVD of ’70: Remembering a Revolution into the other pan, the scale would come crashing down on ‘70’s side”.

Uganda

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