The Berlinale Africa Hub offers a glimpse of the cinema of the future
by Vassilis Economou
- The second edition of the EFM’s successful initiative expands and introduces key players from or related to Sub-Saharan Africa to an international audience
For the second year running, the European Film Market (15-23 February) is continuing its successful Berlinale Africa Hub initiative, an African film market that this year focuses on Sub-Saharan Africa and is running in parallel with the EFM, from 16-21 February, at Gropius Park. It is organised in cooperation with the World Cinema Fund and its special WCF Africa programme, which began in 2016 and funds films from Sub-Saharan Africa.
The 2018 Berlinale Africa Hub is inviting key players from the African film industry to introduce themselves and their works to a wider audience while offering chances to discuss, network and showcase their technological advantages. The daily programme is divided into the Presentations that take place in the morning and the afternoon Africa Hub Talks.
In the Presentations section, more than 20 heads of the African creative industry and international players who want to invest in African creativity will have a 30-minute slot to pitch their companies and institutions and reply to the audience’s questions. Some of the African representatives include South Africa’s Wesgro Film and Media Promotion, Durban Film Mart, AfriDocs, Bimpa Productions from DR Congo, as well as institutions such as the Burundi Film Center, the Namibia Film Commission, Kenya Docubox, the Zanzibar International Film Festival, and the Kwetu Film Institute from Rwanda. Also, German companies Rushlake Media and Nollywood in Germany will present their strategic initiatives, the Green Me Global Festival will focus on the social-cultural exchange between the European and African markets, while French companies DIFFA and Trace will focus on distribution. Some of these companies will also have pop-up offices within the Berlinale Africa Hub for more meetings after and before their presentations.
The afternoon Africa Hub Talks will offer a more comprehensive insight into the African market, and are organised in cooperation with the World Cinema Fund, the Berlinale Co-Production Market and Berlinale Talents. The event boasts a wide array of discussion topics, including the position of the African market today, trends in acquisitions and sales for the whole continent, the links that can be created with the Southern Hemisphere and an analysis of African cinema in its entirety.
Finally, for the second year, the VR Lounge will be hosted at the Berlinale Africa Hub and will give professionals the opportunity to experience the latest African VR productions.
The Berlinale Africa Hub has the support of the German Federal Foreign Office, and is also organised with Berlinale Talents and its sister programme Talents Durban, which supports talented filmmakers from Africa all year round, and with the Berlinale Co-Production Market.
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