The 37th “Vues d’Afrique” International Film Festival opened on Friday 9 April with an online ceremony, live from Montreal, Quebec, but also from the Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal, for “An audience around the world” . This second digital edition offers until April 18 one hundred films from more than 30 countries in Africa and the Caribbean.
For 37 years, Vues d’Afrique, the illegal film event in North America, has invited audiences to discover a different image of Africa. This Friday, April 9, 2021, during the online opening ceremony, Gérard Le Chêne, International CEO of Vues d’Afrique, confirmed that the festival “has eaten the lion” to ensure this 37th edition despite the pandemic.
An award for the gender equality service
The Congolese and Pan-African journalist and activist Maud-Salomé Ekila is this year the godmother of the festival, where for the first time a prize is awarded in the service for equality between women and men. With its programming, Vues d’Afrique aims to “meet remarkable women”, “break taboos”, warn “about marital violence” and offer the possibility of “a decisive awareness”.
Last year, surprised by the Covid-19 pandemic, the organizers bravely made the cultural pause caused by the coronavirus a popular success with a digital festival appreciated by the public.
“Land of the Braves”, the first film from Namibia
This year, among the nuggets to be found during the ten days (online, but with a geographical limitation), we find Terre des braves, the first film from Namibia that tells the story of a policewoman in the pursuit of a murderer. This thriller directed by Tim Huebschle is one of eleven feature films in competition that also comes from Algeria, Cameroon, Morocco, Mozambique …
Matares, by Rachid Benhadj, allows us to meet an Ivorian girl who lives with her mother in Algeria in Tipasa. Their project? Follow the father in Italy. For this, she turns into a florist, but competes with Saïd, a little Algerian boy. Very quickly, the conflict between children degenerated into a religious quarrel.
Laurent Vedrine addresses the sensitive issue of restoration. The statue of the god Gou, a sculpture long claimed by Benin, is at the center of his documentary Dieu Gou, the return of a statue. Thus, it tests the commitment of French President Emmanuel Macron in Ouagadougou in November 2017 to return looted works of art to African countries.
A struggle for liberation and against a mysterious epidemic
The Great Green Wall evokes a utopian project in Africa, planting a wall of trees over 8,000 kilometers to improve both the climate and social problems of millions of Africans affected by this ambitious project. In this documentary, it is the singer Inna Modja (French Cancan – Monsieur Sainte Nitouche) who gives voice to this story that arouses hope.
Mofiala, a Togolese animated film directed by Boris Kpadenou, tells the story of a struggle for liberation, but also the struggle against a mysterious epidemic. It is precisely Mofiala, who was previously sent by her mother, against her father’s advice, to study in the city to study the bacteriology that will be at the forefront of combating this disease of unknown origin.
Views of Africa and Fespaco
Since its inception, the Vues d’Afrique Festival has always worked very closely with Fespaco in Burkina Faso, the largest Pan-African film festival in the world. Following the indefinite postponement of the voice of African film, Vues d’Afrique has been given the role of a locomotive for African film this year.
►Views of Africa, 9-18 April 2021 online