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The phrase, “Tell the leaders to let his Children go, One day the land will be free” is reminiscent of the Biblical story of the Israelites voyage from the Land of the Egypt to their divinely appointed destiny-nation. For the people of Zimbabwe, their yearning for change and dynamic leadership seeks to answer the question “When will we ever be free?  A classical bit that focuses on the struggle for genuine democracy that will benefit the whole population. The carnage of the thirty- three years monotonic social system characterised by impunity and drudgery has called out for a formidable opposition party led by the Morgan Tsvangirai MDC T. The incumbent leader, Robert Mugabe of ZANU PF and his team of supporters will have to prove to the world through a referendum by the CONSTITUTIONAL PLANNING COMMITTEE (COPAC) that they were worthy of remaining at the helm of Affairs. The dramatic film through the debates and contentions faced by the citizens in an era of a people-oriented political framework will be. Mongwama, who was a Communication http://nygoodhealth.com minister will be representing the ruling party ZANU PF as Chairman of COPAC and Mvonzora, a lawyer, activist and juggernaut will be representing the opposition, MDC T as Co-Chairman of COPAC in writing in gold, the future of the country. Constant political interference by the ruling class has conflicted with the process of the creation of a genuine constitution draft for two years. From the rural to urban areas, outreaches were organised, some were peaceful and others were disorderly leading to the loss of lives and properties. Against all odds, the constitution was re-drawn into a more stable and effective document for the populations. Sequel to the whirls of subversion and coercion that daily confronts the African socio-political scene, this is a bold step in achieving the long-sought freedom through objective reportage and articulate recording of past and present events without fear or favour of any sort. The scenes captured the essence of reality of the political events in Zimbabwe. Babatunde Odubanwo IREP Media Team
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Manthia Diawara is one of the significant scholars of African cinema, and this has been further established recently with the publication of the African Studies Review in December, 2015, essentially devoted to the African films and built upon the backdrop of the myriad concerns and concepts espoused by Manthia Diawara himself to the commitment of producing scholarly works on African films. Kenneth Harrow, the editor of the Film Review Unit of the international Journal of   African Studies Review in last December edition emphasized that for many years the scholar’s (of African filmmaking) work has guided scholars and students in African cinema in multiple ways. “His study of cinema production in various African countries, African Cinema: Politics and Culture (1992), set the stage for many major critical approaches. Among other contributions he promoted the use of archival research into the directions taken in Anglophone, Lusophone, and Francophone cinema”. It is not surprising that Diawara, in spite of his foray as a scholar has also tried his hands on the art of making films specifically documentaries that come in form of “cine-essays” through the genre of the “biographical or autobiographical films, in the process establishing his own familiar deep voice as guide commentator”. The recurring element of the guide commentator reflects in his recent trial titled: Negritude: A Dialogue Between Senghor and Soyinka. With Manthia Diawara as the narrator the work is a critical visual critique on some of the exegesis and tenets of Negritude, which Leopord Senghor espoused during his lifetime, and how Soyinka both critiqued and further transformed the concept in view of a universal appeal without subverting the earlier claims of late and former president of Senegal. The film opens up with an old footage of an international gathering where Wole Soyinka’s speaking on, several issues which included issues of African culture, history and of course Negritude. The work is divided into ten parts or episodes and each given equal treatment on Negritude and the various derivations that are essentially connected with culture, history, social history of Africa, colonial and postcolonial matters, issues of democracy, politics, political economy, capitalism, dictatorship and so on. Very rich in form and content, Diawara juxtaposes old, archival footages of interviews with Senghor on the dialectics and practices of Negritude, with real time interviews of Soyinka, in order to create a meaningful parity of an essential dialogue. To further negotiate a meaningful dialogue between the two figures on the same issue, Manthia Diawara balances these dialogues by picking up a an issue that is connected with the subject matter and tries to use the figures to delineate the subtext of each of the subject matters. While the concept and its controversies kicked off during the 20th century, it is interesting to note as observed in the documentary, that Diawara deliberately tackles the facts of the dialogue as he presents Soyinka in the 21st century, revisiting some of the highpoints of Negritude and how it has played out as a global phenomenon in various places of the world in spite of the glaring and observable tropes of hegemonic features. Diawara plays the role of the cultural courier by showing the elements of the African world, and subversive transforming elements of modernism or postmodern lifestyle in an already threatened cultural ambience. For instance, while he depicts the notions of the African Negritudinal idiosyncrasies through the theatrical performances, or the griot performer on the boat playing his local guitar, there is a sense in which he fuses these traditional tropes of art with the frames of daily life in the cities and the constant transformation that comes with globalization. Another aspect that even demands a crucial mention is the fact that the footages of Senghor’s interviews were done in French, and while those of Soyinka were done in English which clarifies that measure of authenticity in the old passion for Negritude, and constant hegemonic existence and survival of the English language. Diawara’s decision to make this documentary was inspired by an essay Wole Soyinka wrote and included in the book titled, The Burden of Memory,Muse of Forgiveness. The essay reads like a critical tribute to Senghor and his commitment to Negritude and Wole Soyinka’s dense understanding of the concept and how it has managed to exist with us, even as a global phenomenon and cultural practice. The documentary is of profound intellectual dept. Much like any other seriously made work, it traces the historical development of a tradition from its earliest beginnings, to our present times and this “present times” establish also that Negritude in itself is a phenomenon that wields social history, and social histories can only trace the development of a phenomenon that has the potential to exist and influence generations for a very long time. Diawara’s Negritude: A Dialogue Between Senghor and Soyinka came fully made. We must think highly of it. Tunde Onikoyi IREP Media Team
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It was splendid meeting and speaking with foremost scholar of African cinema Prof. Manthia Diawara on the Wednesday March 23, 2016. It was an informal meeting and also present was another Nigerian scholar of African cinema Prof Awam Ampka of New York University. Manthia Diawara spoke within a brief moment about his impression of iREP and the tenacity of Femi Odugbemi as head of the organization, and how he has painstakingly been able to sustain the Festival for six years running. The eminent scholar and historian emphasized that one of the basic strengths of this kind of festival is the ‘’space’’ and ‘’location’’, which is essential to the various activities that will be a part of the entire festival. He opined that a place like Freedom Park has become “ideal for a festival, bringing people together so that they can sit around and talk to each other meet each other and talk about culture.” He personally believes the project is quite different from the kind of experience that he along with Prof. Awam Ampka and Jahman Anikulapo had, in Ghana a few years ago. The provision of space is of significant priority and this was lacking in Ghana for such a cultural engagement, and Diawara was of the opinion that “one of the reasons why that festival did not really proceed like that of iREP is because, we did not have a space for conviviality of welcoming a cultural environment”. He commended iREP for the foresight as he believes that the organization has done a lot in fostering and historizing the culture and tradition of documentary cinema, not only in Nigeria and Africa but also around the world, which speaks volumes about a Nigerian film company that has a vision that is extremely unparalleled and, hardly can one locate this kind of tenacity and practice among main stream Nigerian film companies. This practice can only be observed in various engagements IREP has been able to involve itself in, with various international film companies in Europe and elsewhere. It goes to say that http://www.mindanews.com/buy-imitrex/ issues of collaboration has succeeded is only a given today. We also sought Diawara opinion of the state of the practice of documentary in Nigeria which is still at the margins compared to the feature film genre. Although, he agreed that there is a sense in which the reality does not favour the genre in the present Nigeria filmmaking environment, but he believes that the future of Nigerian documentary is actually in good hands. This is so because, he sees in Femi Odugbemi a courageous drive and inner glow that translates to some kind of rigorous, and fearless passion, which also enables him to nurture a young generation of budding filmmakers who would also develop the potential of taking documentary to another level by telling their own original stories.  Odugbemi treats the documentary like an artistic work that also depends on researches. “The work they are doing in documentary is very important because ultimately that is what’s going to teach the young generation the art of documentary. Documentary enables us to try out New Technology”, says Diawara. For Nigeria the future of documentary is extremely bright, and perhaps we have nothing to worry about because with iREP, documentary is currently being driven towards a direction that we anticipate. With all due respect to the popular cinema, art cinema and so on, the documentary cinema brings something additional in some perspectives. And this is because documentary is not a cinema of reality but, that which questions reality. It is a cinema that asks the questions such as; what are the tools for production? How do you use the tools? Do the tools work for you or do you work for the tools? How does one use the tools to construct the effect of realism? If these tools can be used well enough then, there is a great potential for documentary to find its way into the mainstream film industry, and the hearts of the audience, which invariably makes it popular.
  • Tunde Onikoyi
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A genuine exploration of the events transpired during and after the 2007 Kenyan general elections. The unstable election process fuelled violence and uproars by the Kenyan populations. The film is centred around Uhuru Kenyatta, son of the first President of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta and his will to manipulate his countrymen through the voting process. A partisan piece as it succinctly delves into the annals of one of the most widespread political brouhaha affecting an African country in recent times. The filmmaker takes us to Kenyan country homes such as Kisili and Nyeri respectively, and the Internally Displaced Person Centre (IDPC) proved the story to be quite authentic; footages of victims (dead and injured) with personal experiences regaled by Dorothy who later took ill and died in the course of the filming; peaceful protests dispersed by security operatives, sporadic shootings and canisters of tear gas hinges on the gory tale of these infernal times. Throughout the film, Uhuru Kenyatta, the source of the government’s instability, would later be pardoned by the International Criminal court due to what is said to be insufficient information describing the key witnesses as the scheme of the opposition parties with the conspiracy theory in this case stating that he might have the backing of the West as evidenced by his frequent trips to the United Kingdom. In the same vein, the infamous September 2013 attacks with culprits going unpunished, the clandestine terror group “MUGUNGU” hurting the “president’s opposition” whilst member of this dreadful group walk on the street as free men. According to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (I.C.C), Mrs Fatou Basouda affirms that the verdict on the genocide was unfair and unjust to those affected by the attacks. The cabinet members would go on foreign trips, spending excessive amounts of money while the displaced victims of the attacks suffer from economic hardship and social displacement. Genuine democracy and justice is the hope and will lead the wheels of enviable progress and desirable change for the country. The film has show an insightful story of the lives of Kenyans who have been heavily affected by the determined taste for continued power and domination of a leader. The content of the story is one whose facts and discoveries could pass for a informative national and historical document. Also, it is a clarion call on all African Leaders to shy away from bloody politics and play by the rules. Babatunde Odubanwo IREP Media Team
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guests2 March 24th is significant world over as the day that precedes the Easter holiday; it is also one in which documentary filmmakers converged on Lagos soil to learn and exchange ideas about the art of Documentary filmmaking, targeted at making bold statements through the art of documentary films. The Festival has attracted massive turnouts of audience in every class of the arts and this year there is a unique first time formal launch of the Foundation for the Promotion of Documentary Filmmaking in Africa (FPDFA). Having a roster of over forty diverse films, it will help to gratify this years 2016 theme of “DOCUMENTARY FILM AS AGENT PROVOCATEUR” and “CHANGE”. The day was kicked off with opening remarks from the Director of Goethe Institute (a partner of iREP), Mr. Marc Andre Schmachtel. Noting that the Goethe Institute has been a partner since iREP’s inception, he expressed optimism about the future of the growth of documentary filmmaking in Africa. Followed closely was the short address by the head of African World Documentary Film Festival, Professor Niyi Coker who has been a consistent long-time partner and collaborator with the festival. wole Then, was the Welcome speech by the Executive http://www.cheapambienpriceonline.com Director of IREPRESENT Documentary Film Festival, Mr. Femi Odugbemi, reiterating that the choice of the theme “CHANGE” was not only a solidarity campaign for the political terrain; the mantra is targeted at expressing the intricate quality of documentary film in bringing about desired positivism in the society for the present and the future at large. He announced that there will be 50 films to be screened at four venues- AFRINOLLY, Nigerian Film Corporation, Goethe Institute and Freedom Park which is an expansion from any of the previous years. He believes that there is so much to be done for Documentary film and in this light announced the unveiling of the official Foundation for the Promotion of Documentary Film in Africa (FPDFA). Professor Awam Amkpa said a few words as the Chairman of the Advisory Board as one of the members of the team who has been around since the inception of IREP. Later that evening, the day wrapped up with a highly attended cocktail event where the chairs and directors of the board of the FPDFA were revealed and offered their words of optimism for the expansion of the IREP movement.  
  • Babatunde Odunbawo
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iREP 2017 UPDATES
This year we continue with the framework that has powered the conversations at IREP since its inception- “Africa in self-conversation.” An important strand of that conversation forms the theme of this year’s festival – #CHANGE – Documentary as agent provocateur. Simply put, #CHANGE is about connecting our emerging vibrant cinema and creative industries to the realities of our communities. It is about impact filmmaking. It is about embracing the power and promise of documentary to do more than archive history, but to facilitate history. We are delighted to present close to 50 films in 3 venues that show in different ways the essence of this theme. Today, Africa’s journey to political maturity is best expressed by the fact that democracy is beginning to find its feet across the continent. There is now a clear rejection of coups and military tyranny, despots and people of power, the essence of democracy’s promise, has also been demonstrated in a more vibrant contest of ideologies and political activism. Clearly, the people of Africa are keen for democracy to mean something more than an opportunity to choose political leaders or political ideologies. They want a democracy that translates to development, improvements in their quality of lives, better education, better healthcare, better economy, constitutional guarantees of their liberty and freedom in their pursuit of purpose and prosperity. This year’s IREP festival comes at a time when it is most important to take the African storytelling experience to a new level of reckoning and celebration. The post-colonial issues of identity and inequitable sharing of economic resources have created constant tensions and armed conflicts in many of Africa’s nations, with devastating impact on politics, governance and development. The landscape in countries where bitter civil war and armed struggle raged for decades is littered with experiences needing articulation, especially as regards its impact on young people. In countries like Nigeria the absence of armed conflict has not always meant peace, given the violence and corruption of our politics and its adverse effects upon development. The dimensions of documentary as a tool for deepening experiences and mediating history makes it a powerful tool to unpack what we need to grow our nascent democracies. The proliferation of digital equipment and the ease of use of modern camera equipment have created immense activity in the fiction-film genre amongst the young and restless across the continent. Nollywood in Nigeria is now a globally acknowledged phenomenon that has engaged the attention of audiences, scholars and filmmakers across the world with guerrilla filmmaking styles and street theatre content. Because it is articulating the socio-cultural and political experiences of Nigeria, some have argued makes them as well, in some form, documentary. In reality however, a fictional film has a different contract with the viewer than a documentary. Fiction promises entertainment first and reflection second. In fiction you invite the viewer to suspend disbelief. It is an invitation to go into an imaginative world. Documentaries offer reflections first and foremost. It invites debate. Perhaps, therefore the foundational value of the process of engaging in this discourse is to project the question of WHICH CINEMA FOR AFRICA? Clearly Africa needs cinema that does more than entertain. We need cinema that deepens democracy, strengthens Governance structures, advocates responsibility, elevates accountability, fights disease, poverty and illiteracy. The critiques of corruption, poor governance, ethnic divisions, economic paralysis can find a stronger footing if filmmakers turn to their cameras to engage the issues of their realities. These are issues of depression for the viewers. But they’re also issues of INSPIRATION: We need to interrogate the evolution of cultural identities fostered by globalization. What are the Influences of new technologies? We need to reflect on Issues of Civil societies and the emerging economies of Africa? What is our development ideology? Development is a conscious agenda that requires mass mobilization. Documentaries must be at the centre of these conversations. The complication of documentary of course is the intersection between art and activism. The perspectives of the filmmaker are formed by his background, heritage and experiences. Objectivity is remote. The answers offered are a function of the questions asked. It is possible to distort the answer by the question. The narrative of reality and “truth” does not allow for simple answers. But because its content is about shared experiences, its capacity for emotional connections cannot be contrived. That is why the people of our countries have for so long found the existing models of propaganda documentary structures offensive. We have to engender a new consciousness that reframes documentary’s image as a tool for the documentation of personal experiences and an important platform for deepening our democracy, development and empowering human rights. We must craft intervention strategies that forge audience engagement and exposure of the audience to various genres of documentaries that explore experiences and subjects that align and respects with the hopes, aspirations, history and cultures of the people of Africa. It is important that the interventions that emerge are able to create a robust awareness for the power of the documentary as an important tool in this new century. The audiences have to see documentary as a voice for the people to create the change they want: to foster “self-conversations” about the state of their communities and their unique experiences as Africans. There is a need to find an outlet to document the “truths” of our experiences for historical purposes and hopefully, the negative chapters of that history, when documented in powerful narratives, will be slow to repeat itself. Also as many African communities transform from autocratic regimes to full form democracies, there are many gaps of understanding especially in complex issues of governance, development, accountability and freedom of information. The very survival of these fragile democracies begs for public engagement tools that advance understanding and values of transparency, integrity and institutional development. Documentary today must be about engineering open and more vibrant democracies. Femi Odugbemi Director & Co-Founder of IREP International Documentary Film Festival  
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  Jane Mote‘s Keynote address was very stimulating and enthralling.  First and foremost, she began by telling us that it was her first time to visit Nigeria, and that she loved the warmness of the people and they special welcome. Having supported Ugandan Filmmaker Carol Kayma, she decided to make films herself.  She told her story of having worked with the BBC London together for some years and then returned to Africa to train a group of youth in Uganda for better impact. They realized that Western filmmakers were not honoring the legacies of the Ugandan people. She said “Images are powerful and wrongly used. They can create false stories that shape generations of views”.  She cited the example of the visit of the British Queen to Uganda in 1953; a barefoot girl beautifully dressed was chosen to offer the Queen a bouquet of flowers. This was meant to be a happy moment, but the “filmmakers” told her to take of her shoes to create the kind of image the world was seemingly http://www.honeytraveler.com/buy-symbicort/ meant to see of Africa. After several years the original story had to be told and made public. Jane Mote participants She has a passionate belief that everyone can tell their stories, about their identity. She believes that such documentaries and storytelling must stand out. Some stories are central to lies and we can take control of our stories now, using social media to sell our stories to the world. To conclude in part, her keynote emphasized the need for Africans to use their art “to document the world honestly telling their own stories about who they are. Her speech was essentially postcolonial style, in spite of her nationality as British, one and the one that possess that knack for the belief in cultural identity. Some of the documentaries she made references too that marked themselves out to be quite exceptional, that subverts European notions about Africa, and that tries to tell the truth as it is are as follows: The Look of Silence by Joshua Oppenheime, Finding FELA by Alex Gibney  but to mentioned a few.
  • Imoh Eboh
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