Film festival gives an insight into Africa
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.’’
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.