You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Durban Fest, AfriDocs Throws Spotlight on Local Nonfiction Pics

Documentary filmmaker Don Edkins is at the helm of the Durban Festival’s Finance Forum, mentoring a selection of 10 documentary projects from South Africa, Egypt, Rwanda, Uganda and Mozambique.

Subjects range from the history of 1970s funk in Durban (“Afterglow” by Amber Lalloo) to violent crime in Cape Town (“Alison” by Amy Nelson and Uga Carlini), gender issues affected by the uprisings in Egypt (“Egyptian Jeanne d’Arc” by Iman Kamela and Talal al-Muhaaan), contemporary dance in Rwanda (“In Search of African Duende: the Uganda Flamenco Project” by Caroline Kamya), and torture and memory in Mozambique (“Kula: a Memory in Three Acts” by Inadelso Cossa).

The projects were selected early in 2014. Over the past two months, Edkins has worked with the filmmakers to develop ideas to a point at which they can be pitched to film funds, broadcasters and producers attending the film market.

“There is a huge need to support African filmmakers in professional production and distribution. That is the only way we are going to grow the market and grow the talent,” says Edkins, whose films include “Why Democracy?” (2007) and “Why Poverty?” (2012). “Too many films on African subjects have been made by filmmakers from other parts of the world. And we need to change that. We need to be able to have the stories made by African filmmakers and get those stories out.”

To meet the challenge Edkins has taken a bold step, launching Afridocs, the first weekly primetime skein channel dedicated to documentaries to air in sub-Saharan Africa.

Every Tuesday night on Channel ED (DStv channel 190) and GOtv (channel 65), AfriDocs broadcasts top African documentaries to 49 countries by satellite, and terrestrially to an additional 100 cities in 8 countries.

AfriDocs’ launch coincides with the Durban festival. A total of 25 documentaries from 13 countries across Africa will be shown, including seven that form part of the official festival program.

There will also be an outside broadcast from the festival each day consisting of interviews with African filmmakers and film critics.

“Finally, African audiences are going to be able to see what people haven’t been able to see before,” Edkins said.

Edkins confesses his negative feelings about foreign filmmakers, non-Africans, jetting in from the outside to make stories with limited appeal to Africans themselves.

“I think the stories coming out of Africa are the ones that African audiences want to see,” Edkins says.  Africans want to see their filmmakers making interventions. They are not looking for depressing stories. But they are looking to unravel the difficulties and the complexities of the continent.

“A Nigerian writer came up with the phrase ‘Africa is not one story,’ and it’s very relevant.”

More Film

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame' Reaps $83 Million in China by Early Afternoon of Opening Day

    “Avengers: Endgame” is already breaking records in China, raking in $83 million (RMB558 million) as of 2 p.m. on opening day Wednesday – two days ahead of the U.S. – and putting itself firmly on track to become the biggest Hollywood title ever in the Middle Kingdom. The Marvel finale has already set a new [...]

  • Film Review: ‘The Gift: The Journey

    ‘The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash’

    Very much in the manner of an “unplugged” acoustic album that showcases the musicianship of a major artist without distracting flash and filigree, “The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash” is a tightly focused yet impressively multifaceted documentary that attempts nothing less than to delve past familiar myths and illuminate the soul of its fabled [...]

  • Emily Morgan Cormac Fox Gregoire Debailly

    European Film Promotion Reveals 2019's Producers on the Move

    Twenty of Europe’s up-and-coming producers are going to Cannes with European Film Promotion. The organization unveiled its latest roster of Producers on the Move on Wednesday, a lineup that features France’s Gregoire Debailly, who produced Jean-Bernard Marlin’s “Sheherazade,” which premiered in Critics’ Week in Cannes last year, and Ireland’s Cormac Fox, who produced Sophie Hyde’s [...]

  • Avengers EndGame Trailer

    ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Marvel claims the top spot in spending with “Avengers: Endgame.” Ads placed for the superhero film had an estimated media value of $6.28 million through Sunday for 927 national ad airings on 39 networks. (Spend figures [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Netflix Can Chill: Academy Rules No Change in Streaming Oscar Eligibility

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will not change eligibility rules for the Oscars, despite speculation that streaming companies might see a crackdown on their release practices when pursuing golden trophies. A board of governors meeting on Tuesday voted to maintain the status quo, that any feature-length film can be considered for the [...]

  • Aniara review

    Film Review: 'Aniara'

    Each year brings an example or three of purported “thinking person’s science-fiction” films, a category that pretty much embraces anything not centered on monsters or lightsaber battles. These efforts are often more admirable in theory than result, but “Aniara” — the first film drawn from Nobel Prize-winning Swedish poet Harry Martinson’s 1956 cycle of 103 [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame' Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

    It’s been a long year for Marvel fans since the release of “Avengers: Infinity War,” but the wait is nearly over. The finale to the Infinity Saga is here, and while most diehard fans will know to avoid them for fear of spoilers, early reviews are mostly positive. Last year’s “Infinity War” took home an [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content