Pan-African Cinema Today

Theme programme PACT dives deep into a cultural ideology.

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) presents Pan-African Cinema Today (PACT), a theme programme zooming in on the history of Pan-Africanism as captured in film – from its origin as a visionary ideology for a post-colonial era to its current-day relevance. The programme consists of films, short films, a retrospective, talks, music, documentaries, a VR installation and an IFFR Live session in Harare. A wide-angled look at the African film industry: from emerging developments to recurring challenges, and from the continent itself to the African diaspora. By IFFR programmers Tessa Boerman and Peter van Hoof.

PACT presents the long-awaited documentary Kemtiyu, Cheikh Anta by Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane William Mbaye (with a soundtrack by Randy Weston), portraying the life and work of the brilliant and controversial twentieth-century scholar Cheikh Anta Diop who fought all his life to restore historical awareness of Africans, but was marginalised by both the dominant academic authorities and Africans alike. The programme also contains world premieres, such as The Foreigner’s Home by Rian Brown and Geoff Pingree, a documentary about writer and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison; Ellen by South African filmmaker Daryne Joshua, a troubled tale based on true events about a mother and her drug-addicted son; and Milford Graves Full Mantis, a visual essay by Jake Meginsky and Neil Young, showing the kaleidoscopic creative process of the renowned avant-garde percussionist Milford Graves, who will be present to give a live performance after the screening.

  • Brood by Michael Omonua

  • Kemtiyu, Cheikh Anta by Ousmane William Mbaye

  • Milford Graves Full Mantis by Jake Meginsky and Neil Young

  • Ellen by Daryne Joshua

In June Givanni's Pan-African Cinema Lounge in V2_Lab for the Unstable Media, PACT shows four key films essential in mapping the cinematic world of Pan-Africanism, including Aimé Césaire: Une voix pour l'histoire – 2ème partie/Aimé Césaire: A Voice for History – Part II by Euzhan Palcy and W.E.B. Du Bois – A Biography in Four Voices by Louis J. Massiah. In the same building you will find four VR installations, allowing visitors to move from the past to the future of Pan-Africanism.

In a special collaboration with the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), IFFR will screen never-before-seen materials from the museum’s archives. This programme, called The Color Line, features unique short films about Malcolm X and home videos by jazz singer Cab Calloway. IFFR will also show a new film by Ava DuVernay, specially commissioned by NMAAHC.

While Nollywood films and Afrobeats spread around the globe, Beyond Nollywood shows the varied cinematic landscape of Nigeria outside of the commercial realm, with short films such as Brood by Michael Omonua and talks, for instance by the prolific Nigerian music video director Clarence Peters.

Finally, building on the success of last year’s Minding the Gap, IFFR 2018 presents a new six-hour talk show entitled Bridging the Gap, showcasing all PACT filmmakers present at the festival. This event is moderated by Jim Chuchu, George Gachara and Njoki Ngumi from Kenyan art project The Nest Collective together with PACT programmer Tessa Boerman.

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Programmer Tessa Boerman on Minding the Gap and Black Rebels at IFFR 2017

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Confirmed features in PACT

Café com canela/Coffee with Cinnamon, Ary Rosa/Glenda Nicácio, 2017, Brazil, international premiere
Cook Off, Tomas L. Brickhill, 2017, Zimbabwe, international premiere
Les deux visages d'une femme Bamiléké/The Two Faces of a Bamiléké Woman, Rosine Mbakam, 2017, Belgium/Cameroon
Ellen, Daryne Joshua, 2018, South Africa, world premiere
Footprints of Pan Africanism, Shirikiana Aina, 2017, USA/Ghana, European premiere
Kemtiyu, Cheikh Anta, Ousmane William Mbaye, 2016, Senegal/France
Das Kongo Tribunal/The Congo Tribunal, Milo Rau, 2017, Germany/Switzerland
Milford Graves Full Mantis, Jake Meginsky/Neil Cloaca Young, 2018, USA, world premiere
Queimada/Burn!, Gillo Pontecorvo, 1969, France/Italy
Une saison en France/A Season in France, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, 2017, France
Wizard, Kagiso Lediga, 2017, South Africa, European premiere

Features in the June Givanni's Pan-African Cinema Lounge

Aimé Césaire: Une voix pour l'histoire – 2ème partie/Aimé Césaire: A Voice for History – Part II, Euzhan Palcy, 1994, France/Senegal
The First World Festival of Negro Arts, William Greaves, 1966, USA
The CLR James Lectures on the Caribbean and Africa, 1983-1985, Christian Wangler, 1983, UK
W.E.B. Du Bois – A Biography in Four Voices, Louis J. Massiah, 1996, USA

In The Color Line (in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture)

Malcolm X Liberation University: Black Journal, St. Clair Bourne, 1969, USA
Cab Calloway in South America and the Caribbean (Home Movies), Cab Calloway, 1941

More IFFR 2018

All confirmed titles for the upcoming festival

Go to the list

Photo in header: Aimé Césaire: Une voix pour l'histoire – 2ème partie by Euzhan Palcy