Indaba on 50 Years of Film in Independent Africa CALL FOR PAPERS
African Media Centre, University of Westminster, London, UK / LONDON
Filming Against the Odds Conference, London, 27-28 November 2010
This is a call for papers from the African Media Centre at the
University of Westminster for a one-day conference on 50 years of filmmaking in independent Africa.  A half a century ago, Sub-Saharan Africa welcomed independence with a wave of optimism. A new cinema was born, championed by the Senegalese film-maker Ousmane Sembène. This new cinema would provide a conduit of expression for voiceless Africans – revealing social conditions and sharing stories. Sembène’s
first short film, Borom Sarret, was a watershed. It reached a
worldwide audience with a plot based on the tale of a poor cart driver whose tragic life mirrored the hazards facing many ordinary people.
Borom Sarret’s issues became dominant themes in African cinema. Prior to political independence, colonial rule did not allow Africans to make their own films. African independence seems to have given the environment needed to produce African stories on the screen.  Not only was political independence a subject in films, but the environment it
created gave an added impetus to both independent and institutionally supported film-making in Africa. African filmmakers have produced stories that celebrate success and failure in their societies. African history, language and etymology are evident in the ways in which some filmmakers have sought an independent form to help indigenize the
Today, Nigeria has become the centre of a lucrative home video industry known as Nollywood.  According to a recent UN statement, around 900 titles are released in Nigeria each year and bring revenue of about £100m, and Nigeria has surpassed Hollywood to become the world’s second largest film producer after Bollywood. Movies are made on the cheap and copies are exported, sold on the street, or distributed via increasing numbers of video clubs. The film-makers have to work fast and around the clock in their desperate attempt to
fend off the pirates.
The contemporary African film industry is clearly of global
proportions. However, the questions that must be asked are: whose languages are spoken in African film? What are the patterns of stories that have been told so far? What formats do African filmmakers use?
What themes? How has funding affected what is produced? What are the politics of film-making in Africa? Apart from development, education and entertainment, has film on the continent advanced the emancipation of Africans? What has been the relationship between political independence and African film? The conference will include a session with leading African filmmakers. Papers may include, but are not
necessarily limited to, the following:
- Precolonial film in Africa
- Contemporary and historical dimensions of film in Africa
- Language and African film
-African languages and film in Africa
- Global, national, local aspects of film in Africa
- Screen media Africa
 Identity politics and the media in Africa
  Film funding in Africa
Educational film in Africa
- Politics and film in Africa
 Distributing films in Africa
 Style and aesthetics of African film
 History of African film
 Film audiences in Africa

26.05.2010 | por martalanca