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By Shaibu Husseini
20 November 2022   |   2:36 am
Leading South African media organisation, Sunshine Cinema, known for its robust approach to taking meaningful cinema to communities to support activism and impact change, together with UCT’s Centre for Film and Media Studies

Festival founder Fidelis Duker (left), Charles Inojie and Uche Agbo

Sunshine Cinema Announces Film Impact Screening Opportunity
Leading South African media organisation, Sunshine Cinema, known for its robust approach to taking meaningful cinema to communities to support activism and impact change, together with UCT’s Centre for Film and Media Studies, has announced a call for an online professional development course on Film Impact Screening Facilitation from June 2023. 

The course is targeted at communicators, creatives, aspiring impact producers, and purpose-driven ‘Gen Zs’ eager to ignite change through the screening of mostly documentary, but also fiction feature films aimed at reaching relevant audiences.

“This is the second year this course has been offered in response to a growing demand by audiences and filmmakers to provide content that can impact myriad current crises and challenges the world is facing,” explained Sydelle Willow Smith, Sunshine Cinema co-founder and course lecturer, adding that the course provides tangible and workable methodologies for people to develop skills as facilitators to work with film screenings that can help guide audiences and impact this change or stimulate meaningful activism.

The 2023 course runs from June 1 to December 8, 2023, and will cover six modules, each geared towards giving students the knowledge and confidence needed to work as a film impact screening facilitator.

According to course convener Dr. Liani Maasdorp, “the six-month, 100 per cent online, professional development course comprises weekly self-paced lessons on the UCT online learning platform, most of which culminate in a virtual class that allows students to engage with influential movement builders, impact producers, and filmmakers from South Africa, Africa and beyond.” 

According to the organisers, the course is open globally to anyone interested in using film to affect change, and several bursaries are available to participants who merit the opportunity. The closing date for applications is March 31, 2023.

Nollywood Shines At Abuja Film Festival
IT was another year of dominance for Nigerian films and filmmakers, as they dominated the 19th Abuja International Film Festival (AIFF) tagged: Challenges and Prospects of Digital Streaming Revolution Globally.

The Film Festival, which is the longest-running film festival in Anglophone West Africa, received an unprecedented 1,987 films from 97 countries, while about 49 films and filmmakers respectively made the nominees list at the awards ceremony. A total of 21 films and filmmakers carted home the awards on the night.

The Night didn’t end without the newly introduced short film competition by Abuja International Film Festival and Hypo Home Care Product themed, Shoot To Clean which had over 187 films submitted over a two-week window with the theme of hygiene.

The Winning Clean to Shoot films were My Juju (second runner-up), Dirty Space (first runner-up) and Rule No 1 (winner). Speaking on the 19th edition, Fidelis Duker, founder of the AIFF, noted he was excited the festival has come to stay after 18 years, especially with the locals owning the festival, as was experienced in the 19th edition.

The Executive Governor of Lagos, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was honoured with the distinguished merit award of the festival for several interventions and support for the industry’s development. It is, on record, that he introduced capacity-building initiatives that have so far trained over 2000 aspiring and established filmmakers in different aspects of filmmaking.

Nigerian Documentaries To Air On Al Jazeera
TWO engaging Nigerian short documentaries are included in the slate of 14 African films in the new Africa Direct series, which airs on Al Jazeera English from December 6, 2022.

Nigerian filmmaker, Dorcas Sheffy Bello’s A Stone Crusher’s Song filmed in Jos, observes grandmother, Mama Hamsatu Izang, as she navigates her two very different realities that of a life-long stone crusher and now a social media star, in the hope that her new success might bring lasting change. Traffic director, Joy Onoja, has found a way to keep cars moving and drivers cool-headed – she dances. 

Joy In The Traffic, directed by Achor Yusuf, gets behind the moves, motivation and mindset of this energetic traffic policewoman, to reveal a delightful side of urban life in Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State.

Season Two follows the success of the first season in 2021, and presents another 14 episodes of short documentaries from nine countries, made by Africans about Africans. They provide a vivid and fascinating look into the diversity of ordinary people on the continent.

Whether they are unsung heroes, change champions or simply getting on with their lives, they are all agents in their own stories. This year, the countries represented include Mali, Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon and Mozambique.

“All these films focus on individual characters who stand out within their communities, each doing something compelling and in some way shaping the world around them,” said Ingrid Falck, head of documentaries at AJE. Al Jazeera English partnered with the South African production house, Big World Cinema, for the Africa Direct project.