Authentic Africa rather than clichés

FilmInitiativ Köln e.V. have continued to develop this website since its creation in mid-2011 and it was first presented to the public at the opening of the “Out of Europe XII” African film festival in Cologne on September 20th, 2012. Using a comprehensive database, FilmInitiativ aims to use this website as a means of getting detailed information about African films across to enthusiasts. Practical advice on how to obtain these films and ways they can be used as part of school and extra-curricular education and in local cinemas is being provided.

Main objective: providing practical assistance

The aim is not to simply compile a complete filmography of African cinema, but to present selected films that have already been shown at events and to provide information on how the films can be obtained. In doing so, FilmInitiativ aims to promote the distribution of African films here in Germany and, by providing authentic images and stories from Africa, to challenge commonly accepted clichés about the continent.

Initially 140 film titles in the database, meanwhile almost 1000

Information for 140 films was available on the website at the time of its activation in September 2012. Now it offers information for 1000 African films screened by FilmInitiativ at festivals and film events since 1992 available on the website. In addition to filmographic entries and portraits of directors, rental addresses, newspaper articles and photos are also provided, as well as accounts of educational work with African films, from African film festivals in and outside Germany and links to related internet sites from all over the world.

Tips for event organisers

FilmInitiativ also offers recommendations for compiling programmes for film events focusing on current or historical subject matters, such as the political unrest in North Africa and African perspectives of migration as well as the history of colonialism and Africa’s role in the Second World War, as well as recommending films that may be particularly suitable for individual events, screenings at schools and other film events for kids. In this way, FilmInitiativ Köln e.V. aims to share its experiences and contacts gained in over two decades of hosting African film festivals and events with all interested parties.

The foundation: More than 25 years of working with African films in Cologne

Since 1992, FilmInitiativ has presented nearly 1000 films from 40 different African countries in Cologne (many of which have then been passed on to event organisers in other cities) featuring more than 200 different directors from 32 countries at its festivals and its special events focusing on certain countries or topics. They thus offered a comprehensive overview of  African cinematography since independence and of contemporary cinema in Africa. 
The information about the films and directors that has been collected along the way is entered into the database and available online.

All current Cologne festival programmes on the net

This website additionally provides background information and catalogues for all African film events and festivals by FilmInitiativ, as well as African film festivals being held in other cities all over the world.

Feedback is welcome

FilmInitiativ is grateful for any tips regarding African films that are worth watching, as well as festivals, events, publications and links concerning African cinema. 
According to Mahamat Saleh-Haroun, the director from Chad, films offer us the opportunity to “put Africa under the global spotlight”. FilmInitiativ Köln e.V. aims to contribute to doing precisely that with this website.

Titelbild: Kent MacElwee