A film festival in an event focused on bringing together different stakeholders in the film and entertainment industry. It mostly will feature screenings at more than one location, workshops, discussions, one-on-one and so much more. Well, known international film festivals and markets include Cannes, Venice, Berlinale, Sundance and Toronto.
Film festivals and markets offer different opportunities that include networking, collaborating and distribution opportunities for filmmakers.
In Africa, these are some of the top African Film Festivals that you should plan to attend or submit your film for consideration.
Zanzibar International Film Festival is East Africa’s largest film festival. The festival happens in Zanzibar, Tanzania. It’s a cultural event that brings together different filmmakers from around the world to attend film screenings, workshops, mentorship opportunities and so much more. Different genres are covered including short films, feature films, web series, tv series, animations and documentaries. It also includes musical acts that are local, regional and international artists.
The Durban International Film Festival happens in South Africa. The festival promotes the film industry, helps people network with each other and share ideas. The Centre for Creative Arts at the University of Kwazulu-Natal supports the festival. It focuses on African films made on the continent plus those made in the diaspora by Africans. The festival is also a safe space for creatives to have important conversations that affect the world.
“Hillywood” is another name for the Rwanda Film Festival. The festival is an important Rwandese cultural event. It’s all about bringing together the best films from experienced filmmakers, film students and international production houses and international ones. This platform connects film lovers, filmmakers, industry stakeholders and the media plus it helps showcase Rwanda a filmmaking destination.
The NBO Film Festival was created to promote the cinema culture in Kenya because this is the only way to grow a sustainable film industry in Kenya. Hence, it places African movies side by side with Kenyan movies so that all cinephiles understand that all films have been carefully curated like any world-class festival.
The Africa International Film Festival is an international film festival in Lagos, Nigeria. Ms Chioma Ude in 2010, an entrepreneur and film lover founded it in 2010. It includes filmmakers from Africa and the Diaspora. Different film categories included in the festival are short films, feature films, student films, documentaries and animation. The festival is all about connecting different film professionals around the world and providing growth opportunities.
Amakula International Film Festival (Kampala Cultural Foundation) is Uganda’s oldest and independent film festival since April 2004. The festival exposes people to new perceptions plus strengthens film industry development in Uganda. Amakula brings the world closer to Uganda and vice versa because it curates unique films. It has a special focus on African cinema and supporting East African films. The festival utilizes training workshops, discussions and a mobile cinema.
The Cairo International Film Festival is based in Cairo, Egypt. It’s one of the oldest festivals that’s recognised internationally in the Arab world, Africa and the Middle East. It started in 1976 to act as a bridge between Egyptian culture and the rest of the world. It’s been given the ‘A’ status by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) which is a very prestigious title. It includes film screenings, workshops and film awards.
FESPACO can be considered Africa’s oldest film festival because it started in 1969. It happens every two years in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. They also organize non-profit screenings in marginalized areas and educational institutions. The festival cares about connecting filmmakers, sharing African cinema, developing and protecting the African film industry.
The Marrakech International Film Festival happens every year in Marrakech, Morocco since 2001. It’s meant to encourage diversity and build bridges between people from different cultures. This film festival includes tributes, masterclasses and audio description films for the visually impaired.
FiSahara brings together people to enjoy film screenings, discussions, workshops and other events. It includes an annual human rights film and cultural festival plus a film school. The festival is all about educating and empowering the Western Sahara refugees that have lived in remote camps in Southwestern Algeria since 1975.