African Film Festival Australia: Sydney

April 9, 2012

I wasn’t able to make it to the festival on Good Friday. However I did make it to Saturday’s screening.

The screening was a series of short films by Africans or about Africans. 
It was interesting to see how each story was executed through different medias.

We got a taste of object animation by Peter Muhumuza Tukei (Uganda), real life by Nikyatu Jusu (Nigeria/Sierra Leonia), illustration by Afro-Australian Hawanatu Bangura, topped off with a documentary by Kieran Hanson  about the rise of audio-visual creativity in Sierra Leone. I felt like I was watching African Tropfest but with no winner or judging panel.

Besides me being completely lost watching the first two films, I enjoyed the space and moment I was in. This was more than just a festival, this was a demonstration of the African creative scene going to a new level in Australia.


To end the festival on the highest note possible, on closing night – Easter Sunday, Kinshasa Symphony was screened.

Kinshasa Symphony is a documentary about an orchestra formed amongst the hustle and bustle of Kinshasa. Kinshasa Symphony is a study of people in one of the world’s most chaotic cities doing their best to maintain one of the most complex systems of joint human endeavour: a symphony orchestra.

In the 15 years of the Symphony’s existence, the musicians have survived two putsches, various crises and a war. But concentration on the music and hopes for a better future keep them going. The film is about the Congo, the people in Kinshasa and the power of music.

I was smiling from ear to ear as I watched Kinshasa Symphony. I was inspired by their passion and drive for music. They made it clear that their lives weren’t rosy, but the symphony gave them something to strive for. They left all their problems out the door and put their heart and soul into the orchestra and played classical tunes by the likes of Mozart and Beethoven.

All in all, I loved the 1st official African Film Festival Australia. The venue was perfect. Right in the heart of Sydney only metres from the Opera House with the most spectacular night view of the Sydney Harbour. Great selection of films! Great vibe!!!

I can’t wait till next year!!! I know it will bigger and better!!!

Samira our contributor and festival organiser will be bringing you more posts about the event from Melbourne and her experience as a whole. It will be interesting to read about what she observed and experienced.


IMAGE SOURCE: Samira’s Twitter

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