iREP international Documentary Film Festival 2013
3ème édition. Thème: « RECONNECTIONS »



IREPRESENT INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL 2013 is conceptualized on the framework: AFRICA IN SELF CONVERSATION and it would explore the theme: « RECONNECTIONS », with sub themes covering such area as IDENTITY, SPIRITUALITY, COMMUNITY, and INDUSTRY.

In its years of existence, Africa has worn many faces and has assumed many identities; most of them imposed by outsiders looking in. What then is the true definition of an African, what parameters can be used to define the African? Is it our values, cultures or our religion?

How do Africans at home and in the Diaspora see or think about themselves and their identity? What impact does western education; religious and economic value systems have on African socio-cultural life – for instance in creating in the African a conflict of identity?
We are particularly excited at the kind of intellectual exposition that this theme offers, and moreso, the quality of debates and extension of knowledge and awareness of the African identity.

2013 Films

Director- Tobias Lindner
Year- 2012, 94min,
Country Germany.

Orania is situated in South Africas barren Nothern Cape province. Allo f the 800 inhabitants are white Afrikaans, also referred to as Boers. They live here on private property which was bought in 1991. People of other cultural or ethnic descent may not live or work here.

The people of Orania refuse to be part of the Rainbow Nation that South Africa is becoming since the end of apartheid. Crime, unemployment and social pressure make the inhabitants feel vulnerable in the rest of the country.
So they stay by themselves, creating a cultural homeland to preserve their heritage.

Some live here for this ideal, then some for opportunity and security others out of pure desperation. Thus Orania is a culturally homogenous place in a historically multicultural country. By carefully observing its protagonists, the film explores the mechanisms behind this social experiment.

Director- Manthia Diawara
Year- 2006, 77 mins.
Country Mali.
bamako sigi- kan
Set in Bamako, capital of Mali (West Africa) this unconventional documentary tells the story of the return of the director to his hometown, to see how his childhood friends are coping with globalization. Full of nostalgia, he has also brought along an African American photographer friend, for whom he plays the role of a tour guide.

Together, they trawl the streets of Bamako, confronted with the everyday reality of the city, and the changes brought on by structural adjustment and other World Bank policies. The director is surprised to find that his childhood buddies have different, and often contradictory, views from him on globalization. As we follow him and his photographer friend-to each his own Bamako-the film reveals the traditional as well as the modern sides of the city.

The experimental digital video images of cinematographer Arthur Jafa add to the layers of the many contradictory voices in the film. Bamako Sigi Kan is also concerned with artists, Griots, and urban heroes-Ali Farka Toure, Salif Keita, Malick Sidibe and Aminata Dramane Traore- who form the character of Bamako.

Director- Oliver Hardt
Year-2012, 100mins
Country Germany

This film explores how African based spirituality has influenced America’s popular culture. The old African Gods have taken on new forms since their arrival on North Americas shores.

Their spirit now manifests in turntable wizardry, improvisational skills and mind-blowing collages, performances and rituals. The film shakes up traditional and stereotypical ways of thinking about race, religion, rationality. Narrator Darius James meets musicians, writers and healers, gumbo cooks and Mississippi blues men.

He moves from voodoo myths and legends to urban creativity. A road trip to the spiritual sources of Black American Culture.

Director- Sabrina Dittus
Year-, 58mins
Country Germany

Worldwide, new religions are changing the cultures, economies and everyday life in the metropolis. These new movements and organization have become political actors who frequently substitute state agencies. While urban culture is permeated by new modles of religious expression, new religious movements in their turn are permeated by urbanism and secularism. This film exemplifies this phenomenon in Lagos, Instanbul and Berlin.

(Christoph Schlingensief and his opera village in Burkina Faso)
Director- Sibylle Dahrendorf
Year-2012, 106mins,
Country Germany.

An African Bayreuth? An opera house in Africa? Even in the later stages of his illness, Christoph Schlingensief kept travelling to Africa to get his most important project off the ground. An opera village in Burkina Faso, a space where life and art could grow together. The film tells the story of a seemingly impossible project. From the initial location search in May 2009 and the groundbreaking in February 2010 to the emergence of the school, the documentary takes us up close to the German artist Christoph Schlingensief and his architect Diebedo Francis Kere who originally come s from Burkina Faso.

The film gets behind the vision of the Opera Village and witnesses the struggles and hurdles.

Director -Gavin Younge & Amanda Younge,
Year-1980, 42 mins.
Country South Africa.

The emphatic testimony of victims of forced removals in apartheid’s grand and farcical design to excise South Africa’s black population to barren ethnic homelands. From the resistance of the Batlokwa in the old Northern Transvaal, the Crossroads squatter camp in Cape Town and the Port Elizabeth Black Civic Organisation, to Lucas Mangope’s acquiescence in Boputhatswana’s independence charade, this is pure historical poignancy.
Brought to us by Contemporary Films, the London based Production Company that made a significant contribution to exposing apartheid’s ills.

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE (blood is not fresh water)
Director-Theo Eshetu
Year-1998, 56 mins.
Country Ethiopia.
The entire history of 20th century Ethiopia, as seen through the eyes of a fascinating and erudite old man.

Theo Eshetu returns to his homeland of Ethiopia, he sees and films Ethiopia through the eyes of his grandfather, a highly educated man who had served for many years in various posts under former emperor of Ethiopia – Haille Selassie.

Refreshing and rare in its excavation of the history of this once great dynasty – the film uses selective archival footage and rare visual accounts of Italian occupation, British intervention and early rise of the Rastafarian movement. A strong narrative and camera skill provides for interesting viewing.

Director-Taghreed Elsanhouri
Year-2005, 82 mins
Country Sudan.
All about Dafur
When film director Taghreed Elsanhouri reaches Elfaser (the hub of the Darfur region) she realizes that race may be too crude a concept for understanding the source of the genocide there. She discovers that the source of the rebellion by the countries Western tribes – is essentially based on systematic cultural exclusion that unfolded over many decades.

The government’s decision to fight a war by proxy by arming the Janjaweed militias (nomadic bandits hungry for the land of farmers in Darfur) is universally deplored. This decision tipped the delicate social balance and sparked the ethnic cleansing of Darfur. Most of the displaced people she speaks with there are looking beyond Sudan for peace and security. They wish the world cared enough to send multilateral peace keeping forces to stop the carnage – so they could return to their land and villages. Many support a Pan-African force while some welcome U.S.

Intervention, in the knowledge that the U.S. would only act out of its own self-interest and gain. A well shot film that objectively contextualizes the genocide in Darfur.

Director-Frank Dorren
Year-2008, 35 mins
Country Namibia.
A far away featur
Far Away Future tells the story of two teenage girls (Nana and Gaja) of the Himba tribe in the north of Namibia. Both have different dreams about their future. Nana would like to continue life with the tribe where she was raised and waits for the return of her father who has gone to town to sell goats. Gaja dreams of a future in the city where she can either be a nurse or a saleswoman.

Gaja leaves for the city to build this new future. She also vows to find Nana’s father. However Gaja soon realises that city life is not what she expected. She struggles to find work, a place to live and finding Nana’s father also seems to be a dead end.

I-REPRESENT INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENATRY FILM FESTIVAL (aka iREP Docu Film Feast) holds MARCH 21-24, at the FREEDOM PARK, 1 Hospital Road, by Broad Street, Lagos.

iREP is a touring film festival established by three Nigerian culture figures to promote independent documentary films and global awareness about the role of documentary films in deepening participatory democracy.

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