Theme: ARCHIVING AFRICA
Date: March 16-19
Venue: Freedom Park, Lagos
Africa has always been faced with a major challenge of connecting the dots in its historical past. A large part of what constitute the verifiable history of Africa’s past today is sourced from the west. The facts of our historical journey are told to us by western imperialists and we simply regurgitate what is made available to us. In an age when even technology looking forward into the past to understand what is most valuable to our humanity, many African societies are shrouded in a blanket of collective amnesia.
Decades after the last of colonized society in Africa has gained independence, the legacy of European dominance remains – we must recourse to Europe to peep a glimpse of African history and cultural properties because they are mostly domiciled outside of the continent. Our history is ours in bits that is allowed to us from the West!
Documentary/documentation films must respond to this, if it must by any chance, put a stop to the tragedy of forgetfulness in Africa. Storytelling is essential to nation building; each cultural property that is locked away in archives and museums in Europe is a repository of our history, journey and insights into what we can become.
Conceived on the traditional thematic framework of Africa in Self-Conversation, the IREP Film festival 2017 will rigorously explore the opportunities open to Africa to bring its historic past into an archival system that is accessible on demand, and most importantly, how we can begin to use these materials to define a path for the future through storytelling.
In distilling the theme, “ARCHIVING AFRICA,” we intend to focus on the core issues of RESEARCH, PRESERVATION, DIGITIZATION, LICENSING AND RIGHTS and DIGITAL REPATRIATION.
The 2017 edition of IREP Film Festival promises to be four days of over 40 documentary film screenings, insightful panel discussions, training and workshop, and networking with guests attendance from countries like Germany, United States, South Africa, Egypt, Mali, Ghana, Cameroon etc.
GUEST OF HONOUR
Our guest of Honour will be the Egyptian/South African filmmaker, JIHAN EL-TAHRI. We plan to have a special highlight of her films: CUBA – An African Odyssey, Egypt’s Modern Pharaohs and Behind the Rainbow. Each film will have a special screening and an extensive session of “JIHAN IN CONVERSATION” where she will be talking about how she builds her stories around archival resources.
Jihan El Tahri is an award winning director, writer, producer and visual artist. She is an Egyptian and French national, who started her career as a Foreign Correspondent covering Middle East Politics. In 1990 she began directing and producing documentaries for the BBC, PBS, Arte and other international broadcasters. Since then she has produced and directed numerous documentaries, her most recent is “Nasser” part of this year’s official selection at Toronto International Festival. She has also Produced and directed the acclaimed documentaries “Behind the Rainbow”, “ Cuba, an African Odyssey”, as well as the Emmy nominated House of Saud. Her writings include “Les Sept Vies de Yasser Arafat” (Grasset) and “Israel and the Arabs, The 50 Years war” (Penguin).
El-Tahri is also engaged in various associations and institutions working with African cinema. She has served as treasurer of the Guild of African Filmmakers in the Diaspora, Regional Secretary of the Federation of Pan African Cinema (FEPACI) and as an Advisor on Focus Feature’s Africa first Program. She is also a Mentor at the Documentary Campus
El-Tahri started her working career as a journalist. Between 1984 and 1990 she worked as a news agency correspondent and TV researcher covering Middle East politics. In 1990 she began directing and producing documentaries for French television, the BBC, PBS and other international broadcasters. Since then she has directed more than a dozen films including the Emmy nominated The House of Saud, which explores the Saudi/US relations through the portraits of the Kingdom’s monarchs. The Price of Aid, which won the European Media prize in 2004, examined who really benefits from the system of International Food Aid. Cuba: An African Odyssey, which recounts the untold story of Cuba’s support for African revolutions, has received multiple International awards. Her most recent feature documentary Behind the Rainbow, which examines the transitional process in South Africa, has been released in 2009 and has since won various prizes. She is currently finalizing a 3 hour documentary provisionally titled Egypt’s Modern Pharaohs. El-Tahri has also written two books, The 9 Lives of Yasser Arafat and Israel and the Arabs: the 50 Years War published by Penguin. Jihan El-Tahri is also engaged in various associations and institutions working with African cinema. She has served as treasurer of the Guild of African Filmmakers in the Diaspora, Regional Secretary of the Federation of Pan African Cinema (FEPACI) and as an Advisor on Focus Feature’s Africa first Program. She is currently a Mentor at the Documentary Campus.