Colors of the Nile IFF – CONIFF 2014
2ème édition. « An East African international film festival that will become a platform to celebrate and promote Cinema from the entire continent. »


Message from the President

Dear friends, colleagues, and audiences,

We are very happy and proud to bring to you the 2nd edition of Colours of the Nile International Film Festival (CONIFF). The successful inaugural of CONIFF in November 2012 was a major inspiration and energy for our passionate and dedicated team.
CONIFF’s main objectives are popularising African cinema and fostering cooperation among African film industry professionals. CONIFF is also a platform to bring African cinema to the African audience.

Despite its age, CONIFF is a festival with an ambitious vision and a unique identity. From the very beginning CONIFF recognized and captured the shifting paradigm in African cinema that is brought forward by extremely talented young African filmmakers. At the same time the festival upheld and celebrated the legacy and wisdom of the founders of African cinema.

Based in the diplomatic capital of Africa, Addis Ababa, CONIFF is well placed not only to uplift the cultural profile of the city but also to convey the important message that cinema is a powerful instrument for Africa’s unity and renaissance.

This year’s edition of CONIFF guided by the artistic vision of the renowned film consultant and curator June Givanni aspires to open a new window to dive into the captivating yet unexplored world of African cinema.

I would like to thank our partners and sponsors for their farsighted vision and for believing in our cause. The festival is very grateful for the support and guidance of the institutions, government ministries and individuals that gave their unreserved support. I would also like to thank CONIFF’s artistic director June Givanni and the rest of the festival team for their hard work and dedication.

You are invited to enjoy a week long cinematic extravaganza.

Abraham Haile Biru
Colours of the Nile International Film Festival

The Colours of the Nile International Film Festival (CONIFF) will run in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 24-31 March 2014, introducing the best of African cinema to African audiences. The festival will screen 48 titles.

* Opening Night Film
The grand opening ceremony of CONIFF’s second edition is MONDAY MARCH 24 AT 5 PM @ NATIONAL THEATER ADDIS ABABA
We are proud to present the OSCAR nominated « LIFE ABOVE ALL  » by the famous South African director, OLIVER SCHMITZ! We are also pleased that the screening will take place in the presence of our Special Opening Night Guest, the young star of the film Khomotso Manyaka.

CNIFF has three competitive selections dedicated to features, documentaries and short films by African directors within the last two years.

* Feature Competition
The feature competition section of CONIFF 2014 includes a range of recent films which are all making their Ethiopian premiere at this festival. The feature selection consists of 11 titles chosen from (x) submitted entries.

* Documentary Competition
This year we’ve lined up 7 impressive documentaries in competition including both films originating from North Africa. All of the films in this section were made within the last two years.

* Shorts Competition
The short films competition contains 15 films which were all made within the last 12 months and which provide a kaleidoscopic vision of images, sounds and stories of the continent that will provide audiences with a real treat.

CNIFF will also feature non-competitive selections:

* South African Focus
We are happy to be able to bring you this taster programme which demonstrates much of the talent both in front and behind the camera that has made cinema from South Africa some of the most sought after that audiences wish to see.

* Tribute to Nelson Mandela
The weighty presence of a world icon as the country’s hero and president, who passed away this year, has left one of the most enduring legacies for South Africa and for all humanity. There will be many films about Nelson Mandela but here are two small documentaries made by South African filmmakers during his time that he would have seen and known about.

* The Best of the Rest
The small selection of feature films and documentaries that are included in this ‘out of competition’ section are additional films which we would like to include in the programme, which we value and which we believe the Addis Abeba audience will appreciate.

* Indian Ocean Shorts
In the Indian Ocean islands, independent film festivals are building the conditions for a new cinematography to emerge in the region. Sharing the same vision, they focus on developing audiences, training professionals, supporting productions, promoting and distributing films and opening windows to the world. This program of short fiction films is a simple and modest testimony to the vibrant energy and creativity taking place in our region.


The feature competition

Por aqui tudo bem (All is Well)
Pocas Pascoal – Portugal, Angola – 2011 – 94′

B for Boy
Chika Anadu – Nigeria – 2012 – 118′

Confusion Wa Na
Kenneth Gyang – Nigeria – 2013 – 104′

La Pirogue
Moussa Touré – Senegal – 2012 – 87′

Yidnekachew Shumete – Ethiopia – 2013 – 105′

Something Necessary
Judy Kibinge – Kenya, Germany – 2013 – 85′

Virgin Margarida
Licínio Azevedo – Mozambique – 2012 – 90m

Shams Bhanji – Tanzania – 2012 – 96′

Ngunu Ngunu Kan (Rumors of War)
Soussaba Cissé – Mali – 2012 – 90′

Nairobi Half Life
David Tosh Gitonga – Kenya – 2012 – 96′

Ntshaveni Wa Luruli – South Africa – 2013 – 103′

Documentaries in competition

Bouts de vies, bouts de rêves
Hamid Benamra – Algeria – 2012 – 100′

Jeppe on a Friday
Shannon Walsh & Arya Lalloor – South Africa – 2012 – 87′

Leaf in the Wind
Jean-Marie Teno – Cameroon, Gabon – 2013 – 55′

President Dia
Ousmane William Mbaye – Senegal – 2012 – 54′

Curse of an Addict, Zanzibar
Lovinsa Kavuma – Tanzania – 2013 – 25′

Boxing with Her
Latifa Robbana Doghri & Salem Trabelsi – Tunesia – 2011 – 82m

Mille Soleils (A Thousand Suns)
Mati Diop – Senegal – 2013 – 45′

Short films competition

Adamt (Listen)
Zelalem Woldemariam – Ethiopia – 2013 – 19′

Cleaning Time (Etzlenu)
Alamork Marsha – Ethiopia – 2013 – 15:17′

Hold Strong
Marius Bonfeu – South Africa – 2013 – 15:17′

Marc Thomas & Chloe Speller – South Africa – 2012 – 10′

Adeyemi Michael – Nigeria – 2013 – 44′

Tigist Selam – Ethiopia, USA – 2013 – 3:33′

Mark Middlewick – South Africa – 2013 – 15′

Amil Shivji – Tanzania – 2013 – 24′

Shola Amoo – Nigeria, UK – 2013 – 14′

Cedric Ido – Burkinafasso, France – 2013 – 30′

Kwaku Ananse
Akosua Adoma Owusu – Ghana – 2013 – 25′

The Line Up
Folasakin Iwajomo – Nigeria – 2013 – 13′

The Other Woman (L’autre Femme)
Marie KA – Senegal – 2013 – 12:15′ Berea
Vincent Moloi. – South Africa – 2013 – 15′

The Secret of Love
Alemayhu Wosen – Ethiopia – 2014 – 7:48′

The 2014 Jury

Newton I. Aduaka

Nigerian Filmmaker. With Ezra, in 2007, Newton I. Aduaka won the Etalon d’or de Yennenga (the golden stallion of Yennenga), the highest honour for an African Film Maker at the festival of pan-African cinema, FESPACO.
Aduaka’s third feature film, One Man’s Show, premiered at Fespaco 2013, winning the Critics’ Prize. Aduaka is currently residing in Paris.

Salem Mekuria
SALEM MEKURIA is the director of Mekuria Productions, an independent film production company established in 1987. She is also a professor in the Art Department at Wellesley College. She splits her residence between Ethiopia and the United States. Salem is currently working on her documentary about women’s voices and their struggle for empowerment. She is also preparing for her new feature film.

Taghreed Elsanhouri
Elsanhouri began her career in broadcast news and entertainment television. Her directorial debut ‘All about Darfur’ won the Award of Commendation from the American Anthropological Association in 2006 and the Chair Person’s prize at the Zanzibar International Film Festival (Ziff) 2005 and was selected at numerous film festivals including the Toronto international Film Festival 2005.

Xoliswa Sithole
Xoliswa Sithole is a producer/director making films about women and children in Africa with a focus on justice, human rights, and poverty. Sithole made her mark with SHOUTING SILENT, a personal story of how AIDS has affected her family. Xoliswa Sithole is also, known for her films Cry Freedom and Mandela.

Daniel Taye Worku
Daniel Taye Workou born in Berlin, Germany of Ethiopian descent currently lives and works in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia as director/producer for BiraBiro Films.

Daniela Rofi
As a counselor for economic and cultural affairs of the European Delegation to Ethiopia Daniela Rofi is well acquainted with the landscape of African culture and cinema.

Artistic Director : June Givanni
President: Abraham Haïlé Biru


Blue Nile Film & Television Academy

Blue Nile Film and Television Academy is a pioneering professional institution in Ethiopia offering high quality filmmaking training. Founded by the award winning cinematographer Abraham Haile Biru in 2009, the school aims at bridging the gap of skilled professionals in the Ethiopian film and television industry.

Ethiopian Filmmakers Association
The Ethiopian Filmmakers Association (EFIMA) is a professional association of filmmakers with the prime objective of developing and expanding the film art and industry in Ethiopia. As an association EFIMA has been undertaking various activities in collaboration with local and foreign organizations and partners in order to realize its goals.


Best Feature Film:

Rumours of War
– For capturing in a very personal way a complex story applying a very unique cinematographic style and narrative structure. Reflecting a situation that is very prevalent on the continent with great passion and urgency.

Best Documentary
The winner in this category is a masterfully crafted and refreshing film that narrates the personal fallout between two long time friends and political allies and the ensuing consequences that derailed the project of Senegal’s decolonization and its process of nation building. This film reveals a hidden layer of this sad story through the personal lens of a leading nationalist who in 1962 was imprisoned with the filmmaker’s uncle. It represents not only Senegal’s experience but evokes the unrealized hopes and aspirations of the entire African continent. It is a visually stunning film skillfully structured with archival materials, interviews with protagonists who lived through this history, and contemporary images that recall this past.

We were captivated by its emotional depth, cinematic integrity and the economy of its storytelling style. And of course the main characters in this compelling documentary are none other than former presidents Mamadou Dia and Leopold Senghor.
And the film is: President Dia by Ousmane William Mbaye, from Senegal

Best Short film
This well crafted film narrates a national trauma through the lens of a musician and his muse. Creativity mediates the past and the present and restores hope to keep working toward a better future. The protagonists give powerful performances that in such a short time convey a deep and emotional portrait of a difficult period in history that continues to permeate their everyday lives.
And the film is: Adamt, by Zelalem Woldemariam from Ethiopia, released in 2013.

Best Actor:
Mugambi Nitenga / Nairobi in Half Life
Motivation: His ability in portraying the village boy to city gangster and at the same time advancing an acting career.

Best Actress:
Bertukan BefkaduNishan
For portraying a character that carries the film through its unexpected twist and turns while maintaining her integrity in a complex society by upholding its human values.

Special Mention:
B for Boy, Uche Nwadili (directed by Chika Anadu, Nigeria)
For the portrayal of a very complex and demanding role of a modern African Woman saddled with the reality of patriarchal tradition.

Best Cinematography:
Rumours of War (Ngunu Ngunu Kan), Soussaba Cissé /Mali

The experimental Cinematography of Rumors of war found its language for a particular film, it worked very well in capturing the ambiance of the film at times is beautiful and verges on the surreal.

Special Mention:
Zamora by Shams Bhanji, Tanzania
For the capacity of the camera to paint the interior struggles of a man caught up in tormented love.

Best Sound:
All is Well by Pocas Pascoal, Angola
For the creative use of direct sound and sound design to enhance dramatic tension to the film.

Original Sound Track:
Rumours of War (Ngunu Ngunu Kan)
For the use of organic music which echoes beyond the present to the history of the Malian People as a call for promoting Peace and Unity.

Best Screenplay:
Virgin Margarida, Licínio Azevedo/Mozambique

The transposition of documented events into a screenplay is a challenge. This screenplay brings back to life historically important events and questions certain imported idealism of the time.

Jury Decision:
For recognizing the integrity of the story tellers for telling relevant stories with creativity and passion.

Jean Marie Teno (Cameroon) and Senegalese Marie Kâ (L’Autre femme / The Other Woman) received a Mention).
Thierno I. DIA
Africiné / Africultures
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