Important Update:

The 20th Festival was held from February 5 through March 6, 2010. View information about the current year’s festival »»

The 20th Festival

With this milestone festival, we celebrate 20 years of bringing African films and filmmakers to Portland!  Our 20th anniversary festival coincides with the 50th anniversary of 17 African countries that achieved their independence in 1960.

The feature and documentary films that we show, the majority of which were made by African directors, celebrate Africa’s achievements,  expose Africa’s failures, and reveal the possibilities for a more hopeful future.  They show us pictures of Africa through the eyes of Africans, rather than a vision of Africa that is packaged primarily for western viewers.  The films represent African concerns that are political, historical, and social.  This year’s films cover a wide range of themes and topics, including African identity, liberation, emigration, displacement, dictatorship, racism and war, issues of trauma, conflict and reconciliation, peace, truth, justice, forgiveness, and the position of women.

We view film as a medium for artistic expression and illumination.  These films were chosen on the basis of their quality as film and their ability to captivate and move audiences.  We also chose them because they represent different countries and cultures and a range of lifestyles from pre-colonial to modern times, including both rural and urban settings.  Although it is impossible to represent a whole continent with only a few films, it is our hope that through this annual film series we will encourage American viewers to become interested in African cultures and to study them further.