Mirror Facing Africa: The 7th Tarifa African Film‏
mai 2010 | Communiqués de festivals | Cinéma/TV | Espagne


Le Festival de Ciné Africain de Tarifa (FCAT – Tarifa African Film Festival, Spain) celèbre sa septième édition cette année (voir le site du festival).


Mirror Facing Africa: The 7th Tarifa African Film

By Carlos Fernández

The Festival de Cine Africano de Tarifa (FCAT – Tarifa African Film Festival, Spain) celebrates its seventh edition this year.

From 21st to 29th May 2010, this event will screen more than 100 African films and it will bring together some of the most distinguished African artists, in the closest town of continental Europe to the African continent: Tarifa, an Andalusian town on the Spanish coasts of the Strait of Gibraltar – the two continents are in fact only 14 km apart from one another in this geographical area.

The FCAT spreads knowledge about African film production by exhibiting a representative wide variety of audiovisual African works every year: from the classics to more innovative and recent films, from documentaries to feature length fiction films, from South Africa to Morocco and from Senegal to Ethiopia.

Last May, internationally acclaimed Guinean filmmaker Mama Keita commented: « the FCAT is a mirror facing Africa ». Similarly, the highly celebrated and Cannes-awarded Malian-Mauritanian filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako insisted on the importance of an African film festival like FCAT, hailing it as « a bridge that politicians never make ».

The FCAT is not just the only competitive African film festival in Spain, but it has become one of the biggest and most renowned film events of its kind both in and outside Europe.

Offering €48,500 in prize money through 8 different awards, the festival in Tarifa embodies both an innovative cultural bridge – in which African films become the encounters between the two continents and their different cultures, and « a tool for knowledge, raising of ocial awareness and development », as Mane Cisneros Manrique, founder and director of the FCAT, explains.

Brief background

The FCAT was born from a non-profit privately driven Spanish organisation named Al Tarab,1 which Mane Cisneros Manrique – founder and director of this film event – created in Tarifa with a small group of collaborators in 2004.

The event was initially called Muestra de Cine Africano de Tarifa – MCAT (non- competitive showcase of African cinema of Tarifa) and was merely focused on the thematic exhibition and discussion of African films.

In 2007 the FCAT became an actual award-giving festival, granting initially seven different prizes to the best African films as a means to generate a real support for the African

Film industry

1 Al-Tarab is an Arab term which refers to music and the whole scale of emotions produced by music.

In short, the FCAT was born in 2004 with the aim of spreading knowledge about Africa in Spain through African films. In only 7 years it has grown into one of the most important meetings for those who love cinema and Africa.

Film Programme

The 7th edition of the festival will present the following sections:

– Competitive sections:
The African Dream (feature length fiction films): this section will include a wide selection of African films that have been awarded at various important international film festivals. These films will compete for the « Wind Griot » award for the Best Feature Film.
On the Other Side of the Strait (documentaries): A section that concentrates on matters related to cooperation and development on the African continent, created with the collaboration of Casa Africa (African House)2. The winning documentary will receive the « Ebony Griot » award granted by Casa Africa.
Africa in Short (short films): A section dedicated to African short feature films, screened in Spain for the first time. The winning short feature will receive the RTVA (Andalusian Television) Award for Best Audiovisual Creation.

Non-competitive sections
Open Screen: This section will include films from both the present and the past, fiction features and documentaries, views of Africa
or about Africa.

Casa África is a Canary Islands-based Spanish intergovernmental institution for the promotion of mutual relationships and knowledge between Spain and Africa (

audience have a chance to view historically important African films, as well as non-African cinema that offers a perspective of how filmmakers from other parts of the world see this continent.
Africa Rhythm: A selection of films dedicated to African music and dance.
AnimAfrica: A selection of African medium-length and full-length animation films.

Retrospectives – a selection of films (out of competition) that encloses four sub-sections:
Utopia and Reality: 50 years of independence in Africa.

Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Independence of 17

African countries, FCAT’10 offers a selection of African and non- African productions that illustrate, question and analyse this independence.

Retrospective Idrissa Ouedraogo. Coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the Cannes’ Jury Award for his film « Tilaï », FCAT 2010 will show a complete retrospective of the filmmaker from Burkina Faso.
Planet Nollywood – The audiovisual production in Nigeria is twice the amount of films produced in Hollywood, and one and a half times those produced in Bollywood. It’s time for the FCAT to dedicate a section to the « Nollywood phenomenon ». This space will explore how these productions take place and it will try to see if this phenomenon may represent hope for African filmmaking in general.
The African Diaspora in Cuba – After two years without paying attention to the African diaspora, the FCAT has realised… Who,besides an African Film Festival in Spain, can act best as a nexus between three continents? Africa, Europe and Latin America.

Visitors and spectators will not find any red carpet or catwalk at the FCAT, but enthusiastic crowds who discover more realistic representations of Africa, both in and outside the film screenings.

FCAT 2010 Film Awards

– The first official Jury grants the following awards:
GRIOT OF WIND, award for the best long feature film. This award is worth 15.000 € and includes a Trophy.
GRIOT OF CLAY, award for the best full-length film director. This award is worth 10.000€ and includes a Trophy.
AWARD FRS FOR BEST ACTRESS in a full length feature film is worth 2.500€ and includes a Trophy. Donated by FRS, Fast Ferry Service Company.
AWARD FOR BEST ACTOR in a full length feature film is worth 2.500 € and includes a Trophy.

AUDIENCE SPECIAL AWARD for the best full-length film. This award is worth 5.000 € and includes a Trophy.

The second official Jury grants the following award:
GRIOT OF EBONY, award for best documentary. This award is worth 10.000€ and includes a Trophy. Donated by Casa África.

The Youth Jury votes the following award:
« AL TARAB » SPECIAL YOUTH JURY AWARD is worth 2.000 and includes a Trophy.

A member of the Andalusia Public Broadcasting will award the following prize:
RTVA AWARD TO AUDIOVISUAL CREATION for the best short film. This award is worth 1.500 € and includes the « El Dilema » Trophy. Moreover, RTVA will support this film by buying its emission rights. This award is sponsored by Cajasol-Obra Social.

More information on Tarifa can be found on
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