WITH THE GOAL to challenge perceptions of African life the AFRICA IS NOT A COUNTRY Film Festival presents 12 films that actively showcase the unique landscape and beauty of Africa. Organized by Kenyan Fulbright student Calisto Ololngojine with the support of the Cinema and Television Arts Department at Columbia College Chicago, this event aims to shape the definition of an engaged and active filmmaker in the 21st Century.
The Chicago Chapter of the Fulbright Association is proud to participate in this storytelling and inclusive cultural effort that communicates stories that affect and impact the African communities. Admission is free.
All films will be screened at 1104 South Wabash Ave, Theater 310, Columbia College Chicago.
TUESDAY, February 20
6 pm WOZA | Dir. Argentinian duo Pato Martine,12 min. 2017. “Woza” tells the story of an African surfer who has been taken as a lover by the African water spirit Mami Wata. “Woza” – which means “come” in Zulu
6:15 pm LAMB | Dir. Yared Zeleke, 90 min. 2015. When an Ethiopian boy moves in with distant relatives he takes his pet sheep with him but the upcoming holidays spell danger for his beloved friend.
WEDNESDAY, February 21
6 pm AFRONAUTS | Dir. Frances Bodomo’s,14 min. 2014. 16th July 1969: America prepares to launch Apollo 11. Thousands of kilometers away, a ragtag group of Zambian exiles is trying to beat America to the Moon.
6:20 pm KATIKATI | Dir. Mbithi Masya, 75 min. 2016. A young woman with no memory of her life or death, is helped with assimilation to the afterlife by a ghost.
THURSDAY, February 22
6 pm MILKING THE RHINO | 126 min. 2009. The clichés of nature documentaries ignore a key landscape feature: villagers just off-camera, who navigate the dangers and costs of living with wildlife. The Maasai of Kenya and Namibia’s Himba – two of Earth’s oldest cattle cultures – are in the midst of upheaval. After a century of “white man conservation,” which displaced them and fueled resentment towards wildlife, they are vying to share the wildlife-tourism pie. Community-based conservation, which tries to balance the needs of wildlife and people, has been touted as “win-win.’ The reality is more complex. Charting the collision of ancient ways with Western expectations, MILKING THE RHINO tells intimate, hopeful and heartbreaking stories of people facing deep cultural change.
8:10 pm THIS IS NOLLYWOOD | 55 min. 2007. The story of Nigeria’s home grown film industry, which is gaining recognition as a cultural and cinematic phenomenon.
FRIDAY, February 23
6 pm A PLACE FOR MYSELF | Dir. Marie Clémentine DUSABEJAMBO, 21 min. 2016. At a casual elementary school comes a five year old albino girl, Elikia. Due to her skin color her classmates make her realize that her being ‘different’ is more a problem than a special trait. While the neighborhood treats her as a stereotype, her mother encourages her. Together, they fight back and raise their voice to find a place for themselves.
6:30 pm WATU WOTE | Dir. Katja Benrath, 22 min. 2017. For a decade Kenya has been targeted by terrorist attacks of the Al-Shabaab. An atmosphere of anxiety and mistrust between Muslims and Christians is growing. Until in December 2015, Muslim bus passengers showed that solidarity can prevail.
7 pm PANEL DISCUSSION
- Dr. Robert Hanserd — Lecturer of History in the Department of Humanities, History and Social Sciences at Columbia College Chicago
- Floyd Webb — Floyd Webb’s background includes global work in cinema, photojournalism, publishing, and advertising
- Stan West — Adjunct professor at Columbia College, former foreign correspondent and owner of Soweto West Press
- Bridget Botchway-Bradley — Moderator – Graduate student
8 pm BONESHAKER | Dir. Frances Bodomo’s,13 min. 2013. An African family, lost in America, travels to a Louisiana church to cure its problem child.
8:15 pm SAMEDI CINEMA | Dir. Mamadou Dia, 12 min. 2016. Two children write letters to get enough money to go to the cinema. Saturday is their last chance to see the ending of the movie. The local city theater is closing down.
8:30 pm SAWUBONA | Dir. Lungelo Kuzwayo,12 min. 2015. When Mbali, a charming and adventurous 7 year-old South African, defies the norm by making a new friend, she sparks a journey of transformation.
SATURDAY, February 24
1 pm FOR AHKEEM | Dir. Jeremy S. Levine and Landon Van Soest Pro.Iyabo Boyd, 90 min. 2017. After a school fight lands 17-year old Daje Shelton in a court-supervised alternative high school, she’s determined to turn things around and make a better future for herself in her rough St. Louis neighborhood. But focusing on school is tough as she loses multiple friends to gun violence, falls in love for the first time, and becomes pregnant with a boy, Ahkeem, just as Ferguson erupts a few miles down the road. Through Daje’s intimate coming-of-age story, For Ahkeem illuminates challenges that many Black teenagers face in America today, and witnesses the strength, resilience, and determination it takes to survive.
More details: https://www.facebook.com/AfricanFilmShowcase/