Africa’s best on show for all

2014-07-17 00:00

A WORLD first will be taking place this month when a full week of African documentary films will be broadcast across sub-Saharan Africa on DStv channel 190.

AfriDocs Film Week forms part of the 35th Durban International Film Festival (Diff), which takes place from July 17 to 27 at venues around the city.

This unique film event will see documentary films from 13 countries in Africa — The DRC, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda — screened across 49 countries.

“So many documentary films have been shot in Africa, but very few have been seen by African audiences,” said AfriDocs executive producer Don Edkins, from Steps in Cape Town.

“This heralds a new era of distribution for the continent.”

The movies to be screened have been made by a host of respected African filmmakers including Sani Elhadj Magori, Licinio Azevedo, Rehad Desai, Judy Kibinge, Andrey Samoute Diarra, Annalet Steenkamp and Many Jacobson.

There are also movies by Mika Karismäki, Thierry Michel, Roger Ross Williams, Abby Ginzberg and Göran Olsson; and seven of the films screening at Diff will form part of the programme, including the award-winning Miners Shot Down, Concerning Violence, I Afrikaner, The Irresistible Rise of Moïse Katumbi and Soft Vengeance.

The documentaries tell a wide range of stories; from films about great African artists, such as singer and activist Miriam Makeba (Mama Africa) and the Malian photographer Malik Sibidé (Dolce Vita Africana), to political and historical films about leaders Patrice Lumumba and Liberian President Sirleaf Johnson, as well as films dealing with revolutionaries, farmers, gangsters, musicians and evangelists.

AfriDocs is an initiative of the multi-awarded South African documentary production and distribution company, Steps, in partnership with the Bertha Foundation.

Rebecca Lichtenfeld, director of social impact media at Bertha Philanthropies, said that the foundation is proud to partner with Steps to help bring great documentary films to audiences across Africa,

• For the full programme schedule and synopses of the films, please go to:

You can also follow AfriDocs on

Twitter @Afri_Docs

• The documentaries will be screened on Tuesdays at 9 pm. From August 1, the slot changes to one hour earlier in order to allow feature length documentary films to be screened.


During Diff, film-fans can see:

• Miners Shot Down, Rehad Desai’s look at the mineworkers shot and killed at Marikana, at 4 pm on July 19 at the UKZN Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre and 6 pm on July 22 at the Ekhaya Multi-Arts Centre in KwaMashu.

• Concerning Violence, a homage to Frantz Fanon’s once-banned work, The Wretched of The Earth. It is being screened at 8 pm on July 21 at Suncoast and at 9.15 pm on July 26, also at Suncoast.

• I Afrikaner, Annalet Steenkamp’s difficult and intensely personal portrait of a family trapped in unresolved conflicts with the changing world around them. The film is at Suncoast at 5.45 pm on July 21 and at Suncoast at 5.15 pm on July 24.

• The Irresistible Rise of Moïse

Katumbi Michel Thierry’s look at self-made man and character, Moïse Katumbi, who stands as a symbol for the convergence of capital and populism in a modern African democracy. The film can be seen at the Elangeni Hotel at 2.15 pm on

July 18 and at the Ekhaya Multi-Arts Centre in KwaMashu at 6.15 pm on July 23; and

• Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa. See the attached photograph for more details

— Arts Editor.

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