FIVE POINTS ABOUT IREP INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL, IREP 2016
The IREPRESENT International documentary film festival has always been known form empowering the freedom of discourse through films. The ‘docu-films’ range from historical, sociopolitical and cultural outputs that wield several narrative techniques and performance Patterns. These are five points to know about this year’s IREP
The 2016 iREPRESENT International Documentary Film Festival is the sixth edition of the popular annual festival, which is the
biggest on the West African coast and it is scheduled to hold from the Thursday 24th to Sunday 27th March 2016, at Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos, Nigeria. The 2016 Festival is conceived on the traditional framework of Africa in Self-conversation and will explore the theme “#CHANGE, Documentary as Agent Provocateur”. The theme is premised on the Change as relating to Political, Economic, Technical.
The programme proposition for the 2016 edition will include:
Screening of over 30 carefully selected international films representing the best new works on relevant to our theme of Africa-in-Self-Conversation.
Special International Guests in-conference
The iREP Producers’ Roundtable.
Paper Presentations and Panel Discussions
Training Workshop for young African filmmakers on Filmmaking
IREP Awards and Cocktail/Award Ceremony.
2. THE 2016 THEME:
#CHANGE… DOCUMENTARY FILMS AS AGENT PROVOCATEUR
“Though conceived on the traditional iREP thematic framework of Africa in Self-conversation, the theme is premised on the whirlwind of complex issues confronting us today on many fronts that challenge our understanding of the world, of ourselves and how we sustain our pursuit of Peace and Prosperity. Poverty, Epidemics, Terrorism, Civil wars, Racial inequalities, Economic imbalances, Imperialism, Corruption and Political divisions - these challenges are urgent and critical. They demand a response. In a world of Sound-bites, documentaries provide an opportunity to think, understand, and connect the dots. Documentary films are exploring the issues of our time, offering perspective, historical context and possibilities. They are controversial, divisive, fascinating, unexpected, and surprising. Documentary is not a deliberate art form. It starts from questions not answers. Its success relies not in having all the answers, but in asking the right questions.”
- Femi Odugbemi, Executive Director/Co-Founder
3. SOME OF THE GUESTS/RESOURCE PERSONS TO IREP 2016
i. PROF. MANTHIA DIAWARA (US) : Diawara was born in Bamako, Mali, and received his early education in France. He later received a PhD from Indiana University in 1985. Prior to teaching at NYU, Diawara taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California at Santa Barbara. Diawara has contributed significantly to the study of black film. In 1992, Indiana University Press published his African Cinema: Politics & Culture and in 1993, Routledge published a volume he edited entitled Black-American Cinema. A filmmaker himself, Diawara has written and directed a number of films. His latest film Negritude: A Dialogue between Wole Soyinka and Senghor will be specially screened at the iREP 2016.
ii. PROF. AWAM AMKPA (US): Former Senior Lecturer of Drama and Television at King Alfred’s University College, Winchester, England, and Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at Mount Holyoke College. Author of Theatre and Postcolonial Desires, London: Routledge, 2003 and forthcoming Archetypes, Stereotypes and Polytypes: Theatres of the Black Atlantic. Director of film documentaries such as Winds Against Our Souls, Its All About Downtown, National Images and Transnational Desires, and feature film Wazobia! Author of several articles in books and journals on Modernisms in Theatre, Postcolonial theatre, Black Atlantic Issues, and Film studies.
iii. STEVEN MARKOVITZ (South Africa): A South African film and television producer, he has produced, co-produced and executive-produced features, documentaries and short films including the acclaimed "Boy called Twist", "Behind the Rainbow" and "Viva Riva!". Since 2007, he has worked all over Africa producing documentary series and fiction. He has an associate office in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo and works with production offices across Africa.
iv. JANE MOTE (UK): Jane Mote, a former senior vice president of global channels for BBC Worldwide and director of factual and lifestyle for UKTV, left the multichannel broadcaster to head up factual channel Current TV in 2001. She currently the Media consultant for TV channels and digital media companies including Turner Broadcasting, Discovery, BBC Worldwide, London Live, The Africa Channel, Whickers World Foundation and One World Media.
v. PROF. NIYI COKER (US): Niyi Coker, Jr. is the E. Desmond Lee Distinguished Professor of Theatre and Media Studies at the University of Missouri, Saint Louis. He has directed over fifty major stage productions around the world. He is the founding artistic director of the African Arts Ensemble in NYC, and has served as Artistic Director-in-residence for several theatre companies ranging from the National Theater of Nigeria; K3 Theatre in Malmo, Sweden; Black Box Theatre in Hamilton, Bermuda. He received a British Council commission to write and direct, “Endangered Species”, which toured Great Britain in 1995. In 2010 his latest play “Preemptive” opened at the Shaw Theatre in London, England and was covered by BBC Strand in England. The production went on to tour in the Caribbean and West Africa.
vi. TUNDE KELANI (Nigeria): Popularly known as TK, the storyteller, director, photographer, cinematographer and producer, in a career spanning more than four decades, TK specializes in producing movies that promote Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage and have a root in documentation, archiving, education, entertainment and promotion of the culture. He is also known for his love of adaptation of literary material into movies as most of his works have followed that style of filmmaking including Ko se Gbe, Oleku, Thunder Bolt, The Narrow Path, White Handkerchief, Maami and Dazzling Mirage.
vii. JULIAN REICH (Germany): Born in Rochester, NY, Julian’s German parents moved back to Germany when he was seven. He studied film at the prestigious Art Center College Of Design in Pasadena, CA. He began his film career as an assistant editor on such films as “Beyond Silence” (dir.: Oscar winner Caroline Link) and “Life is a construction site” (dir.: Oscar winner Wolfgang Becker). Since 2004, Julian has lived in Berlin and has since directed music videos for such clients as SonyBMG & Universal anddocumentaries for ZDF, ARD and SAT1. His work has been honored with both the Grimme Award and the German TV Award. The documentary Warrior Father King is his feature film directing debut.
viii. PAUL REITH (Germany): Paul Rieth works as a freelance Crowdfunding & Marketing consultant and filmmaker based in Berlin, Germany. He consults and supervises crowdfunding campaigns for his clients and develops individual marketing strategies. Besides that he produced films (non-fiction film & corporate) as a writer, director and cinematographer. After his studies of Media and Communication and Sociology at the Martin-Luther-University Halle -Wittenberg focusing on film and new media, he graduated from the Professional Media Master Class (PMMC) and extended his knowledge and skills in the field of professional documentary production. At the moment he finishes his first book „DOK&CROWD“ about financing and distributing documentary films in Germany.
ix. ONYE UBANATU (Nigeria): Uche is a Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Photographer and Creative facilitator with vast experience in filming and photography in Nigeria and across Africa. He works in a diverse range of documentary projects, television shows, local and International concerts, corporate videos, International News features, award winning short and feature films. His company and platform ‘MypassionMylife Media Limited, is an inspiring platform for young Nigerian creative entrepreneurs which won the 2012 vendor of the year at The Nigerian Events Awards. In 2010 February, Ubanatu led a technical team of over 20 Nigeria creative personnel across the desert along side Dr Newton Jibunor on a project on Climate change and desertification.
x. BARBARA OFF (Germany): She studied communication, social and political science and attained a Master’s degree in International Politics at the University of Wales, UK.Besides having worked many years as project manager she is writing as freelance journalist mainly about Africa on a broad range of issues. Her research trips lead her toBurkina Faso, Ghana, South Africa, Mozambique and the Caribbean. She has lived and worked in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and also extensively travelled the country asa tour guide. Since 2013 she is project manager of the Africa section of the International Documentary Film Festival DOK.fest in Munich.
4. SOME OF THE FILMS SCREENING AT IREP 2016
i.NEGRITUDE: A DIALOGUE BETWEEN SOYINKA AND SENGHOR
(52min, Mali/USA, 2015; Dir - Manthia Diawara)
This imagined dialogue between Lepold Sedar Senghor, one of the founding fathers of Negritude, and Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, was reconstructed almost entirely from archival materials. It probes the relevance of the concept of Negritude, against the views of its many critics, not only to the decolonization and independence movements of the 1950s and 1960s, but also to an understanding of the contemporary artistic and political scenes of nationalism, religious intolerance, multiculturalism, the exodus of Africans and other populations from the South, and xenophobic immigration policies in the West.
ii. OTA BENGA (60min, USA, 2015; Dir - Niyi Coker)
In 1904, Congolese pygmy Ota Benga was removed from Central Africa and brought to St. Louis for exhibition at the World’s Fair as evidence of an inferior species. At the end of the fair, Ota Benga was sent to New York City’s Bronx Zoo, where he was housed with primates and displayed with monkeys as the "missing link" between human and apes. In the eyes of his captors, he served as living proof of Darwin’s theory of evolution. This revealing -- and disturbing -- documentary is directed by University of Missouri-St. Louis professor Niyi Coker Jr. OTA BENGA recently won its Executive Producer, Joel Glassman, the Best Scientific And Educational Documentary; & its director, Niyi Coker Jnr, Best Director of a Short Documentary at the London International Film Festival 2016.
iii. THE REVOLUTION WON’T BE TELEVISED
(74min, Senegal, 2016; Dir - Kim Bartley, Donnacha O’Briain)
Africa, Senegal - When President Abdoulaye Wade wanted to run for office yet again in 2011, a resistance movement formed on the streets. Shortly afterwards, a group of school friends, including rappers Thiat and Kilifeu, set up "Y’en a marre" ("We Are Fed Up"), with filmmaker Rama Thiaw soon coming on board to start documenting events – meetings, campaigns, arrests, concerts, states of exhaustion, trips – from an "insider" perspective. Their story highlights the emerging African urban youth movement, and how youth involved in hip-hop culture helped to radically transform the Senegalese civil society.
iv. THE DEMOCRATS: (100min, Zimbabwe, 2015; Dir – Camilla Nielsson)
In politically unstable Zimbabwe, a new constitution is being put together by the ruling party of strongman Robert Mugabe and the divided opposition. Various political, local and personal interests are bogging the process down.
v. THE DRILLS OF AFI MOUNTAIN (11min, UK, 2015; Dir – Tom Richards)
In Nigeria’s last primary rainforest, the drill monkey is rapidly losing its home. As the walls close in, one group of conservationists are about to attempt the largest captive primate release ever. The Drills of Afi Mountain is the story of one of Africa’s most endangered primates and an event, which is crucial to the survival of the species. With Nigeria’s rapid rate of deforestation it couldn’t come any sooner; the successful release of the drills could go a long way to help save the forest in which they live. With 200 drills to be released, will they be able to get them all out safely?
vi. I SHOT BI KIDUDE (105min, UK, 2015; Dir – Andy Jones)
A dramatic investigation into the final days of one of Africa’s greatest musical heroines, Zanzibar’s very own Bi Kidude. In 2012, this fast-talking, chain-smoking rebel-rocker was kidnapped. Following his earlier film on the myth and life of Kidude, director Andy Jones and his team returned to Zanzibar in Feburary 2013 to get to the bottom of the mystery. Just two months later, Bi Kidude was dead. Featuring exclusive footage of her final stage performance and behind the scenes at her funeral, this is the final chapter in the life of a true legend.
vii. LOW SEASON(41min, Germany, 2015; Dir - Madeleine Dallmeyer)
A film about beach boys in paradise who imagine paradise somewhere else. Low Season tells the story of an encounter with Sony, a beach boy in Bali, who dreams about leaving the island one day to find a better life in the West. A film between documentary and fiction about hopes, dreams and expectations in a globalized world.
viii. SILENT TEARS (30min, Nigeria, 2015; Dir – Ishaya Bako)
It is on the victimization and abuse of women in the Federal Capital Territory and neighbourhoods of Abuja. It uncovers the truths behind the physical and sexual abuse of the citizens and the residents. It also examines society’s perception of this abuse on women encouraged by or perpetrated by security officials across the country.
ix. WARRIOR FATHER KING (85min, Germany; Dir – Julian Reich)
Ismail Cetinkaya (30) and Carlos Eduardo Rocha (30) are cage fighters. They struggle to overcome their difficult childhood. As defeats and personal losses threaten their careers, they part and Ismail travels to Afghanistan in search of a new meaning and Carlos to the USA, hoping for a comeback.
x. FAAJI AGBA (91min, Nigeria, 2015; Dir - Remi Vaughan Richard)
Faaji Agba is a six-year journey by film-maker Remi Vaughan-Richards following seven 68 - 85-year old Yoruba master musicians in Lagos, Nigeria. Most of them were no longer very active on the music field until Kunle Tejuoso, owner of Jazzhole Records, reassembles them under the name, the 'FAAJI AGBA COLLECTIVE. Kunle’s journey starts with Fatai Rolling Dollar, which leads him to others such as Alaba Pedro, SF Olowookere, Ayinde Bakare and more. Their musical styles range from highlife, juju to afrobeat. The story starts in 2009 and follows them on their journey to perform in New York in 2011 where tragedy, however, struck. A year later, undeterred by the setback they perform again in Lagos, ends up being their last. Faaji Agba interweaves the history, culture and music scene of Lagos, Nigeria from 1940s to 2015 as their joys and tragedies unfold. Faaji Agba won the top prize for Documentary at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award. (adapted from http://www.imdb.com)
xi. STATUES ALSO DIE (30min 03sec, France, 1953; Dir- Alain Resnais,
Chris Marker, Ghislain Cloquet)
Statues Also Die traces the devastating impact of French colonialism on African at. As Resnais' co-director, Marker, stated: "We want to see their suffering, serenity, humor, even though we don’t know anything about them." Their film shows what happens when are is forced to lose its connection to a culture from which it raises. This film was banned in France for 12 years.
xii. STILL STANDING (14min, Nigeria, 2015; Dir – Joel Kachi Benson)
A story of courage, strength and faith. When Toyin Adesola was 6, a visit to the hospital confirmed that she was born with Sickle Cell Disorder. It was a discovery that would change her life forever. Life for Toyin became an unending cycle of hospital visits, surgeries and blood transfusions. One of those visits would end in a near-death experience that left a permanent disability on young Toyin. "My greatest fear was that I would just die…without achieving anything..."Toyin’s decision to confront her deepest fear is at the heart of this story. From fighting to go back to school, to finding God, and turning her crutch into a support system for other people living with SCD, this is the story of courage, faith, and the dogged determination of one woman to live a full life, and "die empty".
xiv. BIODUN OLAKU: NIGERIAN PAINTER (17min, Nigeria, 2016; Dir – Tam Fiofori)
The 18-minute documentary visually chronicles a surprise visit to one of Nigeria’s most accomplished painters, Biodun Olaku, at his work-space in the Universal Studios complex opposite the National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, in 2002. Without much prompting, Olaku graciously and spontaneously talked about his philosophy as a painter and artist; his busy role, “passing visual comments on social, political and other activities that take place around me and I witness.” He then used five of his paintings to illustrate his philosophy, inspiration and role as an artist, as well as explaining his technique, elements of design and dramatic use of colours.
xv. BLACK MARKET MASQUERADE (52min, Germany, 2015; Dir - Peter Heller)
The director takes viewers on a journey of discovery to the most beautiful crafts and cult objects, to the mysterious fetishes and masks. We encounter the seemingly “primitive“ art objects from Africa in fancy vitrines of the galleries, in crammed private apartments of passionate collectors and on dusty storage racks of ethnological museums. The market for traditional African art is flourishing across the globe, though ancient African art as an investment is a new development. The film follows the tracks from the poorest carvers in West Africa to the posh trade fair for gallery owners in Brussels and to Paris, where the prices for the art market are decided.
5. ABOUT IREP: The iREPRESENT International Documentary Film Festival was initiated with the objective of promoting independent documentary filmmaking in Nigeria and on the continent of Africa. The Festival places emphasis on training and skill development to the benefit of the young, aspiring and practising filmmakers in Nigeria, especially for those with flair for Documentary films. The annual iREP Film Festival is conceived as a celebration of the best works in the world of documentary films while providing an intense learning environment for young and aspiring filmmakers. iREP is conceptualized to also create a platform of awareness and expression for filmmakers who are creating socially relevant films to positively impact our world. The festival features hands-on training and skills development workshops facilitated by an array of the most experienced practitioners in the field of documentary film making across Africa.
The Conceptual framework of iREP Documentary Film Festival is AFRICA IN SELF-CONVERSATION; and it is designed to promote awareness about the power of documentary to deepen social and cultural education as well as encouraging participatory democracy in our societies. Though exploring the framework, the theme for every edition varies every year, and embraces issues pertaining to Africa’s social, political, cultural, spiritual and economic realities. To fully engage an array of trans-cultural creativity, iREP provides a forum for everyone’s ingenuity to be showcased without prejudice to style or subject. iREP celebrates the ever expanding world of documentary films by inviting talents from across the globe to share ideas on trends and technological advancements in the format.