6.3 Africa

This section assembles articles focusing on African cinema and African film festivals and their place within the international film festival circuit. The publications here focus on the two oldest film festivals on the African continent: Les Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage (JCC) / Carthage Film Festival and Festival Panafricain du Cinéma et de la Télévision de Ouagadougou (FESPACO). These two festivals, both taking place biannually in alternating years, have showcased and promoted African film regionally and internationally. This seemingly positive outcome, however, also has a drawback for the African film market which lacks an infrastructure, argues Manthia Diawara (1993). With the raised profile of African cinema, the marketing of these films became the dominant purpose of the larger (i.e. mostly Western) festival system. With better connections to established (Western) film markets, festivals for or (among others) featuring African film in Europe or North America become more important for filmmakers, as an infrastructure of film production and distribution has failed to establish itself at home in Africa. This, in turn, leaves the former spokes-festivals for African film, Carthage and Ouagadougou, in the dilemma of not being able to feature prestigious new African productions (Diawara 1993, 1994; Ruoff 2008; cf. Turan 2002: chapter on FESPACO, pp. 65-80, section 1).


“Dossier: Cinéma Africain Et Festival / African Cinema and Festivals.” 1994. [bilingual]. Ecrans d’Afrique, no. 7: 47–57.

“Dossier: Le Cinéma Africain Et Les Festivals (2) / African Cinema and Festivals (2).” 1994. [bilingual]. Ecrans d’Afrique, no. 8: 47–60.

Aveh, M. Africanus. 2020. “FESPACO: Promoting African Film Development and Scholarship.” Journal of Film & Video 72 (1-2): 58–66. https://doi.org/10.5406/jfilmvideo.72.1-2.0058.

Bâ, Saër Maty. 2010. “Affective Power/Formal Knowledge: Diaspora, African Cinema, and the Film Festivals Outside Africa.” Film International 8 (5 (#47)): 54–69.

Bachmann, Gideon. 1973. “In Search of Self-Definition: Arab and African Films at the Carthage Film Festival (Tunis).” Film Quarterly 26 (3): 48–51.

Bangré, Sambolgo. 1994. “Le Cinéma Africain dans la Tempête des Petits Festivals | African Cinema in the Tempest of Minor Festivals.” Ecrans d’Afrique (7): 50–58.

Barlet, Olivier. 2010. “FESPACO 2009: Concern.” Black Camera 2 (1): 106–18. https://doi.org/10.1353/blc.2010.0000.

Barlet, Olivier. 2011. “FESPACO 2011: A Festival Under Threat.” Black Camera 3 (1): 123–33. https://doi.org/10.1353/blc.2011.0020.

Barlet, Olivier. 2011. “’the Way to Help Us Is to Give Us Our Funding on Time!’: An Interview with Michel Ouedraogo, Delegate General of FESPACO.” Black Camera 3 (1): 141–45. https://doi.org/10.1353/blc.2011.0033.

Barlet, Olivier. 2011. “’This Is the Last FESPACO I’ll Be Coming to’: An Interview with Mahamat-Saleh Haroun.” Black Camera 3 (1): 134–40. https://doi.org/10.1353/blc.2011.0030.

Bikales, Thomas J. 1997. “From ‘Culture’ to ‘Commercialization’: The Production and Packaging of an African Cinema in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso.” PhD Thesis, Department of Anthropology, New York University.

Bisschoff, Lizelle. 2009. “Sub-Saharan African Cinema in the Context of FESPACO: Close-Ups on Francophone West Africa and Anglophone South Africa.” Forum for Modern Language Studies 45 (4): 441–54.

Bisschoff, Lizelle, and Isabel Moura Mendes. 2012. “Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival 2011: Children and Youth in Africa.” Journal of African Cultural Studies 24 (1): 107–12.

Bonetti, Mahen. 2012. “Programming African Cinema at the New York African Film Festival.” In Coming Soon to a Festival Near You: Programming Film Festivals, edited by Jeffrey Ruoff, 189–200. St. Andrews: St Andrews Film Books.

Caillé, Patricia. 2010. “A Tunisian Film Festival in Paris: Issues in Reception at the Intersection of French and Anglo-American Approaches to Cultural Analysis of the Diasporas.” French Cultural Studies 21 (2): 85–96. https://doi.org/10.1177/0957155810361807.

Caillé, Patricia. 2014. “Fifak 2013: Expressions sexuées, genrées et générationnelles d’une passion du cinéma en Tunisie.” Diogène 245 (1): 104–24. https://doi.org/10.3917/dio.245.0104.

Crémieux, Anne. 2013. “Massimadi, festival des films LGBT de l’Afrique et de ses diasporas: Entretien d’Anne Crémieux avec l’équipe de Massimadi.” In “Homosexualités en Afrique.” edited by Anne Crémieux. Special issue, Africultures. (96): 146–55. [Massimadi, festival of LGBT films from Africa and its diasporas: Interview of Anne Crémieux with the Massimadi team].

Diawara, Manthia. 1993. “New York and Ouagadougou: The Homes of African Cinema.” Sight & Sound 3 (11): 24–26.

Diawara, Manthia. 1994. “On Tracking World Cinema: African Cinema at Film Festivals.” Public Culture 6 (2): 385–96.

Diawara, Manthia. 2010. “Ouagadougou.” In African Film: New Forms of Aesthetics and Politics, 18–70. München: Prestel.

Dovey, Lindiwe. 2010. “Directors’ Cut: In Defence of African Film Festivals outside Africa.” In Film Festival Yearbook 2: Film Festivals and Imagined Communities, edited by Dina Iordanova and Ruby Cheung, 45–73. St. Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies.

Dovey, Lindiwe. 2010. “Table 1: African Film Festivals.” In Film Festival Yearbook 2: Film Festivals and Imagined Communities, edited by Dina Iordanova and Ruby Cheung, 266–67. St. Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies.

Dovey, Lindiwe. 2015. Curating Africa in the Age of Film Festivals: Film Festivals, Time, Resistance. Framing Film Festivals. London, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Dovey, Lindiwe. 2015. “Through the Eye of a Film Festival: Toward a Curatorial and Spectator-Centered Approach to the Study of African Screen Media.” Cinema Journal 54 (2): 126–32. https://doi.org/10.1353/cj.2015.0005.

Dovey, Lindiwe. 2020. “Precarity and Resistance: An Interview with Pedro Pimenta, Founder-Director of Dockanema Documentary Film Festival (Mozambique).” In Documentary Film Festivals Vol. 2: Changes, Challenges, Professional Perspectives, edited by Aida Vallejo and Ezra Winton, 147–56. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Dovey, Lindiwe, and Federico Olivieri. 2015. “Festivals and the Politics of Space and Mobility: The Tarifa/Cordoba African Film Festival (FCAT) As Nomadic Heterotopia.” Screen 56 (1): 142–48. https://doi.org/10.1093/screen/hjv005.

Dovey, Lindiwe, and Estrella Sendra. 2023. “Toward Decolonized Film Festival Worlds.” In Rethinking Film Festivals in the Pandemic Era and After, edited by Marijke de Valck and Antoine Damiens, 269–89. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Dramani-Issifou, Farah Clémentine. 2023. “Curating as Care: La Semaine De La Critique and the Marrakech International Film Festival in the Age of Covid-19.” In Rethinking Film Festivals in the Pandemic Era and After, edited by Marijke de Valck and Antoine Damiens, 255–66. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

English, James F. 2009. “Festivals and the Geography of Culture: African Cinema on and Off the Circuit.” Workshop on Public Culture and Festivals, Vienna, Austria, February 2009.

Kanyinda, Balufu Bakuba. 1994. “Les Cinéastes Jugent les Festivals / Filmmakers Judge the Festivals.” Ecrans d’Afrique (8): 48.

Mansouri, Hassouna. 2020. “Notes on Disenchantment: A Conversation with Amir Al-Emary, Former Director of the Ismailia International Film Festival for Documentaries and Shorts (Egypt).” In Documentary Film Festivals Vol. 2: Changes, Challenges, Professional Perspectives, edited by Aida Vallejo and Ezra Winton, 157–65. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

McCain, Carmen. 2011. “FESPACO in a Time of Nollywood: The Politics of the ‘Video’ Film at Africa’s Oldest Festival.” Journal of African Media Studies 3 (2): 241–61.

McNamara, Joshua. 2013. “Thoughts on a Curation of ‘The Political’ in Film: The ‘Filming Tomorrow’ Seminar at Film Africa 2012.” Journal of African Cultural Studies 25 (1): 128–32. https://doi.org/10.1080/13696815.2013.766587.

Mhando, Martin R., and Laurian Kipeja. 2010. “Creative/Cultural Industries Financing in Africa: A Tanzanian Film Value Chain Study.” Journal of African Cinemas 2 (1): 3–25. https://doi.org/10.1386/jac.2.1.3_1.

Murphy, David. 2013. “Lost and Found: Screening the ‘Lost Classics’ of African Cinema at the Africa in Motion Film Festival.” In Film Festival Yearbook 5: Archival Film Festivals, edited by Alex Marlow-Mann, 177–88. St Andrews: St Andrews Film Books.

Oliveira, Janaina Perreira de. 2016. “Descolonizando Telas: O FESPACO E Os Primeiros Tempos Do Cinema Africano.” [Decolonising Screens: FESPACO and the Early Days of African Cinema]. ODEERE 1 (1): 50-74. https://doi.org/10.22481/odeere.v0i1.1533.

Oliveira, Maíra Zenun de. 2017. “Sobre a Colonialidade Do Pensamento Em Imagens E a Reinvenção Da Negritude No Fespaco: Maior Festival De Cinema Africano.” [On the Coloniality of Thought in Images and the Reinvention of Negritude at Fespaco: The Largest African Film Festival]. REBECA 5 (2). https://doi.org/10.22475/rebeca.v5n2.384.

Olivieri, Federico. 2011. “Tarifa African Film Festival and the Re-Representation of Africa.” Quaderns de Cine 7 (7): 79–91. https://doi.org/10.14198/QdCINE.2011.7.08.

Olivieri, Federico. 2016. “La Interculturalidad a Través De Los Cines De África: Textos, Pretextos Y Contextos Para Una Ciudadanía Global.” [Interculturality in the Cinemas of Africa: Texts, Pretexts and Contexts for a Global Citizenship]. Revista Internacional de Pensamiento Político (11): 285–310.

Olivieri, Federico, and Joshua Michael Wong. 2015. “The Slum Film Festival in Nairobi: Exploring Cinematic Representation from the Urban Margins.” Journal of African Cinemas 7 (2): 153–68. https://doi.org/10.1386/jac.7.2.153_1.

Ruoff, Jeffrey. 2008. “Ten Nights in Tunisia: Le Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage.” Film International 6 (4): 43–51.

Sakbollé. 1994. “Un Seul Slogan: Moins d’Amateurisme et Plus d’Intégration Festival-distribution! / A Single Slogan: Less Amateurism and a Greater Festival-distribution Integration.” Ecrans d’Afrique (7): 48–49.

Santaolalla, Isabel, and Stefan Simanowitz. 2010. “A Cinematic Refuge in the Desert: The Sahara International Film Festival.” In Film Festival Yearbook 2: Film Festivals and Imagined Communities, edited by Dina Iordanova and Ruby Cheung, 136–50. St. Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies.

Simanowitz, Stefan, and Isabel Santaolalla. 2012. “A Cinematic Refuge in the Desert: Festival Internacional de Cine del Sahara.” In Film Festival Yearbook 4: Film Festivals and Activism, edited by Dina Iordanova and Leshu Torchin, 121–32. St Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies.

Slavkovic, Milica. 2015. “Filmmaking in East Africa: Focus on Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.” In Small Cinemas in Global Markets: Genres, Identities, Narratives, edited by Lenuta Giukin, Janina Flakowska, and David Desser, 189–214. London: Lexington Books.

Slocum, David. 2003. “Zanzibar International Film Festival 2003.” Senses of Cinema (28). http://sensesofcinema.com/2003/festival-reports/zanzibar/. Accessed May 22, 2020.

Slocum, David. 2009. “Film And/as Culture: The Use of Cultural Discourses at Two African Festivals.” In Film Festival Yearbook 1: The Festival Circuit, edited by Dina Iordanova and Ragan Rhyne, 136–52. St. Andrews: St Andrews Film Studies.

Turan, Kenneth. 2002. “FESPACO.” In Sundance to Sarajevo: Film Festivals and the World They Made, 65–80. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

(Last updated: 18. April 2024)