Film fes­ti­val gives an in­sight into Africa

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By KA­RINA ABADIA

Shar­ing sto­ries and chal­leng­ing stereo­types are the main aims of the in­au­gu­ral African Film Fes­ti­val New Zealand.

The event, which takes place at Rialto Cine­mas New­mar­ket from April 9 to 15, in­cludes 10 films and re­flects the di­ver­sity of life in Africa.

Fes­ti­val com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor Kube Jones-Neill grew up in the United States, but has lived here for the past 17 years.

‘‘Peo­ple tend to glaze over when you men­tion Africa,’’ she says.

‘‘They im­me­di­ately go to the big three: war, famine and dis­ease.’’

Th­ese are very real is­sues, but they aren’t the whole story, the Mt Eden res­i­dent says.

‘‘What we know in spite of all that, is there are still peo­ple living joy­ous and fas­ci­nat­ing lives there,’’ she says.

The African com­mu­nity in New Zealand has grown a lot since film fes­ti­val trust chair­man Boubacar Coulibaly moved here in 1989.

The Malian says the con­ti­nent has a rich cin­e­matic his­tory, but not many African films are re­leased here.

Buy­ing the rights to films and hav­ing them rated in New Zealand is an ex­pen­sive process, Coulibaly says.

Trust mem­bers se­cured fund­ing from var­i­ous spon­sors to help with costs and launched a Kick­starter cam­paign ear­lier this year, which raised $2800.

The film La Pirogue

is one of Coulibaly’s top picks from the pro­gramme.

The story is about a group of Sene­galese peo­ple try­ing to make the voy­age across the ocean to Europe.

You might think the film would be har­row­ing, but in fact it’s em­pow­er­ing, the Me Move.

Film is a re­flec­tion cul­ture, Jones-Neill says.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant for chil­dren who were born here of African her­itage to stay con­nected to their roots, while also learn­ing how to as­sim­i­late into New Zealand life.’’

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Photo: KA­RINA ABADIA

Cel­e­brat­ing cul­ture: African Film Fes­ti­val New Zealand com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor Kube Jones-Neill and trust chair­man Boubacar Coulibaly.

Go to auck­land­c­i­ty­har­bour news.co.nz and click on Lat­est Edi­tion to watch a video about the African Film Fes­ti­val New Zealand at Rialto New­mar­ket.

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