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On Thursday, June 29, 2023, the second edition of the children and youth film festival The Future is Africa will start in Berlin with artistic contributions from the African continent and the African diaspora.

This year, the film festival will focus on female perspectives in African film – both through the selection of films by young African filmmakers and in terms of content with the examination of diverse female realities in film.

This year’s film program is once again curated by the British-Guyanese film curator June Givanni. Around 20 films of various genres will be presented at two festival locations – Il Kino in Neukölln and Sinema Transtopia in Wedding – until July 4. The full program can be found here from mid-April 2023. The festival kicks off with the German premiere of the Senegalese Oscar entry Xalé by Moussa Sène Absa. The film is a relentless portrait of the hardships faced by many women in Senegal, sensitively conveying the pain and guilt that the patriarchal system can inflict. After “Tableau Ferraille” and “L’Extraordinaire destin de Madame Brouette”, Xalé is the director’s third film to focus on female characters. In the subsequent film discussion between curator June Givanni and director Moussa Sène Absa, the content and motifs of the film will be further discussed.

In addition, two-panel discussions with filmmakers from the African continent and representatives of migrant-diasporic perspectives will take place during the festival, thematically addressing gender inequality in the (not only) African film industry and critically questioning the representation of women in film. Also this year, free film screenings for school classes will be offered as part of the festival. In cooperation with African film experts, workshops for school classes and youth associations are also planned, which will support intercultural exchange while introducing young people to the art of cinema in practice.

Background: Although African film festivals and sections at European film festivals are receiving increasing attention, female filmmakers continue to be severely disadvantaged by the patriarchal structures in many African states and in the film industry. Especially in the wake of political crises and instabilities, prevailing gender norms and power relations worldwide lead to increased discrimination against girls and women. Even in Europe, the process toward equality has not come close. Recent movements such as the #MeToo debate show that even in Western societies the issue of emancipation and gender equality as well as equal participation of all in overall societal processes is not guaranteed. Through its focus on female perspectives, the film festival The Future is Africa aims to link to current international discourses on the relevance of education – especially for girls in the global south – and thus expose the system of gender-specific role distribution and the resulting lack of future prospects for young women and girls.

You can find the whole programm by clicking here.

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