All is set for the fourth edition of the EFM platform, Berlinale Africa Hub. Thereby, from February 21 to 26, the event offers an international forum for communication and networking to African filmmakers and creatives or filmmakers active anywhere in Africa.
Already, Nigerian film, Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) will have its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. Directed by twin brothers Arie and Chuko Esiri, it will be shown at the forum section of the festival, whose 70th edition holds next month. Presented by GDN Studios, the film was written by Chuko Esiri and produced by Melissa Adeyemo.
The movie, which has Lady Maiden Alex Ibru, Toke Alex Ibru, Olorogun Oskar Ibru, Kayode Akindele, and Ifeoma Esiri as executive producers, was a 2018 Purple List Award winner and one of 10 projects chosen for last year’s IFP Narrative Lab in New York. Billed to be in Berlin for the festival, it is expected that the Eyimofe team will also participate in the 2020 Berlinale Africa Hub.
This year, the initiative has moved from Gropius Park to a new location on the first floor of the Marriott Hotel. Another new feature is the expansion of the spectrum of the Berlinale Africa Hub to now encompasses the entire African continent. The spotlight of this year’s edition is on Sudan’s film industry. Visitors can present, exchange and make contacts with international filmmakers in daily presentations, talks and happy hours.
The presentations by African filmmakers and by filmmakers, who work in Africa, take place every day from 11 am to 1 pm. The 15-minute pitches deal with topics such as edutainment, social impact, series and distribution in the pan-African region. Projects and companies with participants from Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, as well as from Germany, France, Jamaica, the United Kingdom, and the USA are presented.
Among them is The company Sunbox from South Africa, whose founder Nozuko Poni was selected for this year’s Berlinale Talents programme, presents the new distribution arm of its mobile solar cinema, which brings cinema to rural areas in Africa and thus creates an inclusive cinema. Terra Media presents its online platform of the same name, bringing together creators of social impact projects with investors. Urban Republic from Ghana / USA presents its edutainment web series Foodies for children and families, showing them how to eat healthy and varied food with little effort and local sources.
Fresh Magazin & pooldoks from Cameroon / Austria are using their film The Fever about the fight against malaria to discuss the development of infrastructures for social impact films on the continent. SENTOO is a pan-African initiative in which six countries work together and, in particular, promote South-South co-productions on the continent. Dina Naser, also a Berlinale Talent this year, again presents the collective Sisters in Film MENA, which supports filmmakers from the Middle East and North Africa.
The daily Berlinale Africa Hub Talks from 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm, give an insight into the latest developments in the African film industry. IEFTA (International Emerging Film Talent Association) is the new partner of the Berlinale Africa Hub as host of the talk series, which takes place in cooperation with the World Cinema Fund, the Berlinale Co-Production Market and Berlinale Talents.
Following its premiere at the Durban Film Festival in 2019, the initiative Engage stops at the Berlinale Africa Hub Talks this year. Engage deals with the potential of African filmmaking in think tanks and panel discussions. In Berlin, the focus is on the contents and the consistency of further training and continued educational opportunities in Africa, the status quo and the challenges of North-South and South-South cooperations, and the synergies between Africa and its Diasporas.
The discussion The Role of TV for the African Continent and its Diasporas, (February 25) examines the possibilities of addressing a pan-African audience, and the focus will additionally be on the importance of television in Africa in the age of technological change. The discussion Film & Tech: Does Africa Need a Silicon Valley? (February 22) deals with the question of how technology and startup culture can actually advance the African film industry while focussing on the challenges and risks associated with it as well.
Rwanda, in particular, is now considered an African technology hub. The discussion Sudan’s Awakening as a Film Industry Contender (February 23) continues the spotlight series from last year and takes a look at the country’s filmmaking with its talented filmmakers who are trying to gain a foothold internationally.
The panel presents initiatives there as well as international cooperation opportunities. The edutainment market is the focus of the talk Roadmaps: Forging New Synergies for Film Production with Foundations (February 24). The panel explores the possibility of commissioned work, in particular foundations, grants and NGOs in the field of edutainment and social impact, and how one can best utilise this potential.