Saturday, October 20, 2012

French Film Wins 7,000€ Prize for Best Feature at 9th African Film Festival of Cordoba

TEY (Senegal, France) by Alain Gomis won the 7,000€ Griot for Best Feature Length Narrative Film.
Today is the last day of Satché’s life. He knows this to be true even though he is strong and healthy. Nonetheless, Satché accepts his imminent death. He walks through the streets of his hometown, goes to the decisive places of his past: his parents’ house, his first love, the friends of his youth… It is a way for an exile who has returned to get to know his homeland again.

19 October, Cordoba, Spain – The 9th African Film Festival of Cordoba has granted 10 awards to 8 African films. The jury of “the African Dream” section for feature-length films, composed of Sylvia Perel (Argentina), Tanya Valette (Dominican Republic) and Carolyn Kamya (Uganda) has selected the winning films out of 7 films in competition, from countries such as Rwanda, Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Algeria, Senegal and Mozambique.

1. The Griot for Best Feature Length Narrative Film, accompanied by 7,000€ and a trophy, goes to TEY (Senegal, France) by Alain Gomis for the reasons of depth, poetic fluency, and essential thematics of life and death.
 This award is granted by the organizer NGO of the festival, Al Tarab.

2. The honorary Griot for Best Director, along with a trophy, goes to KIVU RUHORAHOZA(Rwanda) director of Matiere Grise (Grey Matter) for the originality, creativity, and lucidity of his vision, as well as for having the courage to recall an individual heart wrenching moment of his nation.
3. The Griot for Best Actress, along with 2,500€, to SOUFIA ISSAMI for her role in Sur la Planche (Morocco, France, Germany) by Leila Kilani for the honesty and intensity in the composition of her character. This award is granted by the Spanish foundation Women for Africa (Mujeres por África).

4. The Griot for Best Male Actor, along with 1,500€, goes to SAUL WILLIAMS for his role inTey (Senegal, France) by Alain Gomis for his ability to carry subtle and true emotions throughout the film with an elegance and direction that still moves us. This award is granted by the Corte Inglés department store.
The jury for documentaries and short-films (respectively « On the other side of the Straits » section and « Africa in Short » section) is composed of Andres Duque (Spain-Venezuela), Ishtar Yasin (Irak-Costa Rica) and Samir Ardjoum (Algeria); the jury has selected the winning films out of 16 films from 8 countries: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Kenya, South Africa, Tunisia, Tanzania and Egypt. According to the jury, winner films are:

5. The Griot for Best Documentary, along with 3,000€ and a trophy, goes to Ganster Project(South Africa, Germany) by Teboho Edkins in that we seldom see a project in which a director risks his life to enter a society of gangsters, attains the confidence necessary to film them from the inside without prejudices, and assumes a rite of initiation for a talented filmmaker. This award is granted by the NGO in charge of organizing the festival, Al Tarab. Also, it has been decided to grant an honorable mention for the feature length documentary films category, to Bîr d’eau, a Walkmovie-Portrait d’une Rue d’alger (Algeria, Switzerland) by Djamil Beloucif for its formally attractive presentation, transformative properties, and depiction of characters and dialogue regarding urban space in an endless complexity which redefines our everyday understanding.

6. The Griot for Best Short film, along with 2,000€ and a trophy, goes to Sur la route du paradis
 (On the Route to Paradise) (Morocco, France) by Uda Benyamina, for her careful and sensible assessment of the reality that is being without papers in Europe, for appealing to emotion with open sensibility, and resistance falling into a patriarchal tone. This award and its trophy are given by the Spanish foundation Puerta Africa. And lastly, also receiving an honorable mention for a Shortfilm, is Brûleurs (Algeria, France) by Farid Bentoumi for its radical yet formal bid, simple efficiency, and comprehension of moments inseparable from poetry which would be merely dismissed in other films.
A part, les suivants prix honorifiques ont été décernés :

7. The Audience Award goes to 678 (Egypt) by Mohamed Diab.
8. The SIGNIS Award for Best Feature Length Narrative Film, along with a trophy, goes toMATIÈRE GRISE (Grey Matter) (Rwanda, Australia) by Kivu Ruhorahoza for the courage to speak out against the devastating effects of war on youth. Also, a honorable mention goes to SUR LA PLANCHE (Morocco, France, Germany) by Leila Kilani for the depiction of living conditions of young women who leave their birthplace for work in the big city and their struggle to survive. SIGNIS is the International Catholic Association of Radio and Television.

9. The Youth Jury award for the Best Short film goes to Kaa El Bir (Tunisia), by Moez Ben Hassen for the different perspectives and interpretations provided by his work and for the sensitivity in narrating a delicate subject.

10. The award Cordoba Solidaire City goes to Vol Spécial (Swaziland) by Fernand Melgar for the exceptional dramatic tension with which he presented the drama of being expelled from a country, and for his way to reflect values such as friendship and solidarity, as well as for the strength of human relations in internment centers for foreigners and their extreme living conditions. Furthermore, the jury has decided to grant a special mention to the documentary Hospedes da Noite (Mozambique, Portugal) by Licínio Azevedo, for its great artistic quality, which stresses the strength of his message : in between misery and poverty, there is the need and willingness to live, as well as the joy and fight to feel like a human being.

11. The honorary ASECAN Critic's Prize for Best Feature Length Narrative Film, and trophy, to Skoonheid (Beauty) (South Africa, France) by Oliver Hermanus for the great strength of the authorial vision which depicts a story that crudely denounces the hypocrisy of a society laden with violence. ASECAN is the acronym for the Andalusian Screenwriters Association.

12. The ASFAAN Honorary Award for Career accomplishment in African Cinema has been granted to the career cinema of African director Merzak Allouache for his cinematic trajectory which represents a life dedicated to reflecting; despite difficulty, on the socio-political reality that is Algeria over the last 40 years. ASFAAN is the acronym for the Andalusian Audiovisual Festivals Association.

FCAT, one of the biggest European festivals of African cinema, welcomes this year over 100 African filmmakers including Abderrahmane Sissako, Merzak Allouache, Nadia El Fani et Kivu Ruhorahoza. This year it features, among others, on a retrospective section on Algerian cinema, a panoramic selection of Middle East films and a special section as a tribute to filmmaker Chris Marker.

The festival was accompanied, among others, by 4th Africa Produce film co-production forum, where 11 African filmmakers competed with their projects to get funding from European producers. In this frame, filmmaker Hawa Essuman (Ghana / Kenya) has been granted a 25,000 euro fund for the development of her film Djin. The fund, granted by italian foundation lettera27 (which, in turn, in funded by Moleskine) is known as The Director’s Eye, and has been presented to the public last Sunday.

About the African Film Festival of Cordoba
The African Film Festival of Cordoba (FCAT) is an independent and competitive film festival and one of the biggest African film festivals in Europe. The festival celebrates its 9thedition between the 13th and the 20th of October in the Andalusian city of Cordoba.  
The festival -organized by NGO Al Tarab, with support, among others, of the Cordoba Town Hall, the Andalusian regional government and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECID)- has been running for a week in the city of the Mosquee with the screening of 94 films from Africa or about Africa, a forum for film professionals (FCAT Espacio Profesional), which includes a film co-production forum; also exhibitions, workshops and parallel activities for all audiences.   

Further information on
Pictures of the closing ceremony available here:

Contact the press office:
Marion Girard Cisneros
+34 608 414 702

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