Berlinale Africa Hub

Feb 14, 2017

“The twenty-first century will be an African century,” says Cameroonian political scientist Achille Mbembe.

According to the World Bank eight out of the world’s top ten countries with the youngest populations are in sub-Sahara Africa. By 2050, the region will be home to all 10.

Berlinale Africa Hub Enlarge image Berlinale Africa Hub (© Berlinale) The Berlinale Africa Hub at the EFM taps into this African hotbed of new ideas and is a market platform to rediscover, connect to and get the latest updates from well-known and emerging professionals from all over Sub-Sahara Africa. Apart from functioning as a hub for the fine fleur of African industry professionals, it will enable EFM visitors to set up meetings with them and learn about what going on. The Berlinale Africa Hub is focused first and foremost on changes in the industry triggered by innovations. Numerous talented African filmmakers are increasingly using the newest technology to create film and virtual reality content, and we’re keen on having them in Berlin.

Do you want to know more about new distribution and marketing models in various African countries? Make some time to watch and discover the latest virtual reality and 360° projects by African filmmakers and producers. Get inspired by successful start-ups that are bringing audio-visual content to the African market, and get an overview of African VOD and SVOD platforms that have emerged in the last few years.

The “Berlinale Africa Hub” is an initiative of the European Film Market (EFM), supported by the German Foreign Office and in cooperation with the World Cinema Fund, Berlinale Talents (including its sister programme Talents Durban), and the Berlinale Co-Production Market.

Virtual Reality is a technology that operates in between film, visual arts, gaming and other disciplines Enlarge image Virtual Reality is a technology that operates in between film, visual arts, gaming and other disciplines (© Goethe-Institut Johannesburg / Lerato Maduna) New Dimensions – Virtual Reality from Accra, Dakar and Nairobi

Virtual Reality (VR) is a technology that operates in between film, visual arts, gaming and other disciplines. While it has mostly been shaped in western industrial countries so far, the Goethe-Institut and Cape Town based non-profit organization Electric South aim to provide funding support and mentorship to African storytellers and artists in the development and production of their own VR ideas, and introducing African and international audiences to African-produced VR.

Electric South and the Goethe-Institut present „New Dimensions – Virtual Reality Africa“, a selection of Virtual Reality (VR) productions from Kenya, Senegal and Ghana.  Each of these works offers a view of the vibrant, diverse and ever-changing cultural landscape of contemporary Africa. An exclusive preview of works in progress will be on show at the 2017 “Berlinale Africa Hub” at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale).

Included is the VR work “Spirit Robot” by Ghanaian science fiction author and founder of the Afrocyberpunk website Jonathan Dotse who explored the Chale Wote Street Art Festival in Accra. The festival is driving an art renaissance in the city’s public spaces.

Kenyan film director Ng'endo Mukii Enlarge image Kenyan film director Ng'endo Mukii (© Goethe-Institut Südafrika) Kenyan photographer Ng’endo Mukii produced a poetic city symphony on Nairobi in the VR piece “Nairobi Berries”, consisting of her lyrical voice-over alongside surreal, layered images of the city. Her synopsis reads “In the empty spaces we cannot claim as our own, in forests full of smoke and beneath still waters, two women and a man wrangle. Each must hollow out the other’s core for fruits promised but only ever borne in dreams. For this is Nairobi, the city we call home.”

Senegalese fashion designer Selly Raby Kane presents a magical 360 piece, in which a little girl is chosen to discover the invisible Dakar.

Kenyan “The Nest Collective” created an interactive work set in the distant future, when a group of Africans leave the Earth to create a new colony.

© Berlinale / Goethe-Institut Südafrika

Virtual Reality from Accra, Dakar and Nairobi

Every year about 400 films are screened as part of the public programme - most of them world or European premieres

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The Berlinale

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The Berlin International Film Festival is one of the most important dates in the film industry calendar. The festival screens around 400 films per year, mostly international or European premières, and offers eight separate sections to cover the many genres. It also hosts a main competition for international feature-length films. Germany's creative capital welcomes tens of thousands of film-lovers from around the world to ten days of fantastic films.